Basic information

Course name: INFSCI 2415 / LIS 2690 Information Visualization (Fall 2017)
Instructor: Dr. Yu-Ru Lin <yurulin at>
    Office hours: TBA (by appointment)

TAs: see Piazza
Class Meeting Time: Tuesday 9:00am--11:50am
Location: IS Bldg 403

*EmailThe instructor & TAs will not answer questions by email. All questions should be directed to Piazza, either publicly (for all students in the class to see), or privately (for only instructor/TAs to see).

Learning objectives

Visualization is a way to explore, present and express meaning in data, so there is no visualization without data. This course aims to investigate what data presents and how to present data, which requires both data analytics and information design knowledge. 

In this course, we will introduce concepts, methods and procedures of data visualization, with emphasis on the creative process of organizing, visualizing, communicating and interacting information. The course is designed to help students develop critical thinking for evaluating visualization system and practical skills in solving visualization problems. The course material will be covered through lectures, readings, exercises and assignments. By the end of this course, students are expected to:
  • Understand the theories used in visualization, including data models, graphical perception and techniques for visual encoding and interaction
  • Learn how to solve a diverse set of visualization problems, ranging from spatiotemporal, multidimensional and multivariate, to hierarchical, network and text visualization, to interactive and collaborative visualization challenges
  • Design and implement visualization systems using real-world datasets, and evaluate the systems in practical scenarios
  • Read and critique the methods from visualization examples and literature


Familiarity with basic programming concepts is preferred. We will use D3 as the primary working platform for building visualizations, and hence familiarity of javascript is preferred.


Attendance is mandatory and will be recorded. Arriving late and leaving early without permission will affect your grade. If you must be absent please contact me in advance. Three or more absences will result in automatic failure of the course except in extraordinary circumstances.


Grades are based on three major activities listed below. Assignments are due as scheduled, and grades on late work will be decreased by 10% per day late. See the assignment page for more details.
  • 30% reading & class participation
  • 30% homework (mini-projects) and midterm
  • 40% final project (including milestones)


No textbook is required in this course. There will be reading assignments over the course of the semester. Links to the electronic copies of these readings will be provided. There are also other recommended books for further reading and for learning visualization tools.


See the list of recommended readings.


See the course schedule page.

University Policies

See the university policies page.