Report of the visit of Dr. Veslava Osinska at the University of Amsterdam on March 22 – 28, 2014 based on a STSM grant
During the STSM I had an opportunity to get detailed knowledge about the multidisciplinary course “Show Me the Data” organized by University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design. This course implements an innovative approach to learning and bases on multidisciplinary teams of both teachers and students. I discussed with Dr. Marcel Worring – one of the teachers – about the course structure, organization, the formation of the students groups and the evaluation criteria. As a result, I could outline the perspectives of future lectures at my home university addressing to a wide range of students.
Certainly, the most important event was the participation in the presentation of students projects, a special event which fell into the period of my stay. Seven teams presented their interactive visualization interfaces, used for a specific analysis of certain social, economical, and political problems. The topics covered a broad spectrum:
- Country of origin of food used in recipes,
- Overview of crime in different UK counties,
- India’s missing girls and related criminality growth,
- Smart Energy consumption and management in EU countries,
- Westgate attack in 2013,
- Right-wing populism in politics based on the analysis of word use at Twitter and Facebook,
- A Facebook “Like” predictor on the basis of any message.
The presentations were preceded by an interesting lecture of Dr Paolo Ciucciarelli – the founder and Scientific Director of DensityDesign Research Lab (Milano, Italy). He introduced to the design of communication and the conception of a visual message and how this can bridge between analysis and narration, between science and media. With Dr Paolo Ciucciarelli and Dr Yuri Engelhardt – the teacher and initiator of course – we discussed about methods to support decision making processes in complex systems.
The visit at the UvA will extend my didactic portfolio concerning information visualization. My stay will contribute to a closer cooperation between our universities in the area of methods to teach Infovis and to share experiences. Other positive effects of the time spent in Amsterdam and at the UvA are new ideas of research and the finalization an article.
Torun, Veslava Osinska