Review: Vis2020 Conference

I was unable to attend the Vis2020 Data Visualization Conference, however the organizers uploaded videos of all of the sessions and I was able to find relevant and interesting presentations. At first I was lost in the sheer quantity of presentations; there seemed to be an overwhelming amount. Eventually I narrowed down my focus onto the sessions about volume visualization and visualization for social good.

The volume visualization section ended up being highly technical, which was a challenge for me. Despite this complexity, some main ideas were still communicated through these presentations. Most of the papers introduced new methods of volume rendering that were less computer intensive, something important due to the heavy GPU strain that 3D modelling can cause. One of these methods that I think may be applicable to my project is proxy geometry, which takes the volumes of different sections of cones in order to calculate volumetric data. This would be an interesting method for finding the volumes of the crucibles, which are somewhat cone shaped anyway.

The second session I watched, Visualization for Social Good, was also interesting to me. I really liked Ron Metoyer’s presentation where he argued for a collaborative, human centered focus for research. His case study of representing food deserts in South Bend, IL was well done too. The main point of emphasis in this presentation was that data science should engage with stakeholder early and often – it should not be done in a vacuum. This is important to my project and is the reason why Dr. Fenn and I have aimed to be transparent and collaborative with the work we do.

Overall, this conference seemed to be great. I wish I had the opportunity to attend, however the presentations that I watched afterwards were fantastic.

Ian Miller

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