We are a team of visualization researchers at the University of Utah. Our interests include the process of designing and developing visualizations, visualization for biology, visualization frameworks, and, more generally, visualization of big, heterogeneous, and complex datasets.

VDL is part of the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute and the School of Computing.

Blog And News

Blog Post: The Case Against Dashboards (when Visualizing a Pandemic) 6 Jul 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has negatively impacted our lives in many ways. The anxiety felt by many is amplified by the obsessive consultation of the latest numbers and statistics about cases, testing rates, deaths, and so on. Both the public and experts have turned to data visualizations to understand what is going on, as data visualization is a powerful tool to discover and communicate trends and relationships. Government agencies, news organizations, and academic labs have published a plethora of graphs and dashboards tracking minute details, sometimes with deceiving precision.

In addition to graphics such as the famous abstract “flattening the curve” illustration, data visualizations have been widely used to report on COVID-19 cases, death, and related metrics. Visualizations of these datasets have influenced decision making, both on a policy and on a personal level: plots of rapidly increasing cases have contributed to the increasing awareness of the problem and to the adherence to the often difficult counter-measures. The academic...

Blog Post: Introducing the VDL Blog 6 Jul 2020

As of today, the Visualization Design Lab has a blog!

Why another data visualization blog?

A lot of visualization researchers have been avid bloggers for years. Eagereyes was an early academic visualization blog, and now there’s a lot of momentum on Medium, with the Multiple Views blog focusing on academic research, while the Data Vis Societies’ Nightingale blog/journal has a broader, non-academic perspective. Through a blog format, we’re making vis research more accessible to other researchers and practitioners alike!

Why not post on Medium or WordPress?

This blog is on our website, and that’s a deliberate decision. We want to control what we post and how it looks, but most importantly we want to have control over the content and be able to guarantee it is online, even in 20 years. Who knows what Medium’s or WordPress’, other blogging sites’ plans may be. Will they switch to a pay-per-view model? Will they go bankrupt? Using...

News: Carolina Nobre Successfully Defends Dissertation 19 Feb 2020

Carolina Nobre successfully defended her dissertation “Visualizing Multivariate Networks”. Congratulations also to Alexander Lex for his mentorship. Carolina will join Harvard University as a “Harvard Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow”.

Carolina and Committee

News: Two now pilot projects for VDL 15 Feb 2020

Two new pilot projects with VDL participation have been funded out of the 1U4U initiative.

Miriah Meyer is collaborating with Janet Iwasa and Jason Shepherd on a project to capture and communicate diverse biomedical hypothesis through visualization.

Alexander Lex is working with Thomas Zangle and Robert Judson-Torres on visualizing cancer cell growth response data based on quantitative phase imaging.


Recent Publications