CS 5/631, Spring 2020

Principles & Practice of Data Visualization


This course will give students a foundation in the principles of data visualization, particularly as applied to scientific and technical data, as well as provide students with hands-on experience using modern software tools for developing visualizations. Lecture topics will include an overview of visual perception, color theory and practice, different types of graphs and their purposes, visualizations for specialized forms of data including time-series and geospatial data sets, strategies for working with multidimensional data, etc. There will also be lecture content on ethical issues surrounding data visualization. Weekly lab sessions will introduce students to popular data visualization tools such as R’s ggplot and Shiny, etc.

Note that due to the coronavirus pandemic, this term, our class sessions and labs will be held via Webex. The call-in information can be found on the main course page in Sakai. If synchronous distance learning becomes an issue for you this term (e.g. due to computer or internet access issues, childcare scheduling conflicts, etc.), please contact me as soon as possible so we can discuss alternatives.

Textbooks & Resources

Course goals

By the end of the course, students will be:

Basic course structure

Mondays: Lecture

Wednesdays: Lab


When & Where?

Mondays & Wednesdays, 14:00 – 15:30 via Webex

Starts: March 30

Ends: June 12


Instructor: Steven Bedrick

Office Location (not that it matters): Gaines Hall, 21

Office Hours: By appointment