CMPS 261: Fall 2021
Course Overview


Do you do modeling, run simulations, and/or have big data that need to be analyzed and visualized for verification, validation, and understanding? Do you have complex high dimensional data sets that you would like to explore in some intuitive manner? Do you have noisy, inconsistent, or missing data? Are you interested in untangling the web of your social network and find out who are your real friends? Or do you need to communicate some complex engineering, medical, scientific, etc. data to the general public, or to some decision maker who may not be well versed on the technical aspects?

CMPS 261 will cover data analysis and advanced visualization techniques. Examples will be drawn from different disciplines (e.g. bioinformatics, astrophysics, social networks, etc). Actual topics may vary with different course offerings and will depend on specific interests of students in the class.

Course evaluation will primarily be project based. There are different components including paper reading/critiques/presentation, project proposal, updates, and final project presentation (including project web page and technical report). There is flexibility in terms of choice of topic for your project. Main criterion is that there should be a visualization component in your project. Topics can range from problems of current interests e.g. wildfires, drought, climate change, Covid19, diagnostic test accuracy, fake news, election manipulations, etc. Look at the project information page for more details.

This course will be conducted through a series of lectures, group discussions, and research paper study/presentation. There is flexibility to tailor the class to problems that the class and students are working on or are interested in. Students are expected to conduct research and write a report due by the end of the quarter. Such research may form part of the student's research e.g. preparation for advancement or initial work for a master's project.

As you can see from the right column of our course schedule, we have project milestones (in green) through the quarter. Do start thinking about what project you'd like to work on from day 1. To help with that, your first assignment is due on 9/30/21 with presentations on 10/1/21.

With regards to paper reading/discussion, I would like to have two students be in charge for each paper. You get to chose which paper(s) you would like to present from past visualization publications (either IEEE or other similar venues). IEEE Visualization maintains an archive of past publications -- scroll to the bottom of the page and select the year. If it's from a different list, please consult with me first. You should pick a paper that's relevant to your course project.

If you are not a CSE graduate student interested in this class, please contact me first at


Optional Reference Books


Last modified Thursday, 29-Jul-2021 18:44:50 PDT.