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Guest Speaker: Jian Chen

Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Thursday, February 23, 2017, 4:00 pm


Jian Chen
480 Dreese Labs
2015 Neil Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43210

Interactive Visual Computing for Knowledge Discovery in Science, Engineering, and Biology

Imagine computer displays become a space to augment human thinking. Essential human activities such as seeing, gesturing, and exploring can couple with powerful computational solutions using natural interfaces and accurate visualizations. In this talk, I will present research effort to quantify visualization techniques of all kinds. Our ongoing work includes research in: (1) perceptually accurate visualization – constructing a visualization language to study how to depict spatially complex fields in quantum-physics simulations and brain-imaging datasets; (2) using space to compensate for limited human memory – developing new computing and interactive capabilities for bat-flight motion analysis in a new metaphorical interface; and (3) extending exploratory metaphors to biological pathways to make possible integrated analysis of multifaceted datasets. During the talk, I will point to a number of other projects being carried out by my team. I will close with some thoughts on automating the evaluation of visualizations and venture that a science of visualization and metaphors now has the potential to be developed in full, and that its success will be crucial in understanding data-to-knowledge techniques related to use-inspired Translational Data Analytics.

Bio: Jian Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she leads the Interactive Visual Computing Lab ( and UMBC’s Immersive Hybrid Reality Lab ( She maintains general research interests in the design and evaluation of visualizations (encoding of spatially complex brain imaging, integrating spatial and non-spatial data, perceptually accurate visualization, and event analysis) and interaction (exploring large biological pathways, immersive modeling, embodiment, and gesture input). She has garnered best-paper awards at international conferences, and her work is funded by NSF, NIST, and DoD. She is also an UMBC innovation fellow and a co-chair of the first international workshop on the emerging field of Immersive Analytics. Chen did her post-doctoral research at Brown University jointly with the Departments of Computer Science (with Dr. David H. Laidlaw) and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech with Dr. Doug A. Bowman. To learn about Jian Chen and her work, please visit


Host: Han-Wei Shen