Logo: VisHub University of Edinburgh, Visual+Interactive Data

Interdisciplinary research lab in data visualization and HCI at the University of Edinburgh.

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Project planning (UG4, MSc, MRes, PhD)

This page provides information about working with me on projects at Edinburgh Uni (DI-project, MSc, MRes, internships, PhD..). These information aim at avoiding false perceptions and expectations. For many of you it will be the first time your are working on a research project in this area. Generally, visualization and human computer interaction (HCI) is a large area with a multitude of application possibilities and complimentary expertise. You don’t have to be an expert in visualization but you need to be passionate about it in order to learn it. Visualization is not trivial and it is nothing you learn by reading a book or listening to a lecture. It takes time, practice, and iteration.

Perhaps the most high-level suggestion about a visualization project I can give is: it depends. Research is by nature open. If we knew what we’re doing we wouldn’t (want to) do it. We want to find things and we do not always know what we will find. Be patient, and curious, and creative, and keep pushing.

Defining a (PhD/MSc) Project with us

There are two extreme cases and a set of gradual shades in between them.

The degree of research and engineering can vary across projects and largely depends on your interests and skill. However,

Framing/communicating your project

A lot of reserch is communication. The end users of your research are always humans, even though you optimzie an algorithm. If no one knows your research of finds it useful, it remains a personal exercise. Hence, focus on communicating your research.

How to do that?

Framing a contribution

A contribution in visualization and HCI projects can be anything from the following list and potentially more.

Some projects combine aspects across these projects types, but it’s good to think about one main contribution. More information on papertypes in visualization.

Project Steps

During your project you will engage in most of the following steps. Some of the steps are general to research and design, others are specific to data visualization and HCI, which naturally are the fields I can talk most about.

Use the below list to plan your project and include specific weeks into your timeplan. Discuss the plan with your supervisor.