The above image is by Colin Behrens from Pixabay .

The RAMP VIS events are normally held via the zoom platform of the Scottish COVID-19 Response Consortium (SCRC).

Seminar at 3:00pm on Thursday 25 February 2021

Visualization projects motivated by #COVID19
Professor Nick Holliman, Newcastle University (@Binocularity)

Abstract. I will describe a selection of the visualization projects I have been involved in that have been influenced by the global pandemic and focus on three areas I have worked on during 2020 and 2021:

1. Public data presentation. Because of the immediate relevance to my visualization students I started tweeting about #COVID19 when WHO released its first five data points. From the point at which lockdown started in March 2020 I have tweeted a daily summary of PHE and NHS data from (Northern) England. I will briefly outline the data pipeline, the visualization design and some challenges for truthfullness this public engagement brought.

2. Uncertainty narratives for critical decision makers. Over two years I participated in workshops with DSTL and the KTN to investigate ways to present uncertain modelling data to decision makers in emergency planning and peacekeeping situations. This led to the development of a template for modelling data presentation to decision makers partially based on military doctrine. We applied this in June 2020 during a workshop hosted by the KTN, V-KEMS and the Newton Institute to a set of modelling data about #COVID19 in universities. I will briefly describe the development of the template and its use by university planning groups after the workshop to plan their October 2020 reopening.

3. Opportunity to explore novel approaches. Before 2020 we had been researching a new approach to visualizing bivariate data, for example a mean value and its uncertainty, using measures of entropy to determine the visual representation of glyphs. The pandemic immediately halted our in-person experimental work with these glyphs. I will outline how we have been able to progress the work using online experiments and illustrate how we are testing our new approaches in representing #COVID19 time series data and derivatives of these times series.

Biography. Nick Holliman researches the science and engineering of visualization and visual analytics, addressing the fundamental challenges of visualization for Data Science and AI. His research includes the psychophysics of the human visual system, the creation of novel algorithms for the control of image content to match human abilities and demonstrating how these algorithms work in practice in scalable cloud-based software tools and award-winning 3D visualizations. He has worked in both industrial and academic environments and is experienced in delivering commercial impact from research outputs. He has led the design of high-performance visualization theatres at four different institutions which have been specified to support both individual and team-based decision making. He currently leads the Scalable Computing Group at Newcastle University, is visualization lead for the Newcastle University Centre of Research Excellence in Data and is a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute where he co-convenes the Visualization Interest Group #VizTIG, he is a member of IEEE CS, ACM, IS&T and a fellow of the RSS.