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April 4: Ben Shneiderman

Ben Shneiderman Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery
Ben Shneiderman is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland.  He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, and IEEE, and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, in recognition of his pioneering contributions to human-computer interaction and information visualization. His contributions include the direct manipulation concept, clickable web-link, touchscreen keyboards, dynamic query sliders for Spotfire, development of treemaps, innovative network visualization strategies for NodeXL, and temporal event sequence analysis for electronic health records. Ben is the co-author with Catherine Plaisant of Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (5th ed., 2010). With Stu Card and Jock Mackinlay, he co-authored Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think (1999). His book Leonardo’s Laptop appeared in October 2002 (MIT Press) and won the IEEE book award for Distinguished Literary Contribution. His latest book, with Derek Hansen and Marc Smith, is Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL.

Abstract: Interactive information visualization tools provide researchers with remarkable capabilities to support discovery. These telescopes for high-dimensional data combine powerful statistical methods with user-controlled interfaces. Users can begin with an overview, zoom in on areas of interest, filter out unwanted items, and then click for details-on-demand. With careful design and efficient algorithms, the dynamic queries approach to data exploration provides 100msec updates even for million-item visualizations that can represent billion-record databases. The Big Data initiatives and commercial success stories such as Spotfire and Tableau, plus widespread use by prominent sites such as the New York Times have made visualization a key technology.

Friday, April 4, 2:30 pm, Wang Center Theater

May 5: John W. Hutchinson

hutchinsonStructural Stability at Large and Small Scales: Shells and Soft Materials
John Hutchinson is the Abbott and James Lawrence Research Professor of Engineering at at Harvard University. He received his undergraduate education in engineering mechanics at Lehigh University and his graduate education in mechanical engineering at Harvard. He joined the Harvard faculty in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1964. Hutchinson is a Fellow of the ASME, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Society of London. There will be a reception immediately following the lecture.

Abstract: The stability of elastic solids and structures continues to be scientifically fascinating and technically important. Current research activity is focused on soft materials, revealing intriguing wrinkle patterns and instances of highly unstable behavior of compressed elastomers and gels. Relatively benign wrinkles can collapse to creases, folds or ridges, triggered by tiny imperfections, with close analogy to the dramatic collapses displayed when shell structures buckle. Shell buckling emerged as one of the most challenging problems in mechanics fifty years ago when it was intensively studied, and it remains a challenge with new efforts recently launched. An overview of recent developments in the area of nonlinear stability phenomena will be presented with non-specialists in mind. Commonalities between shells and soft materials will be highlighted augmented by numerous pictures of instability modes and patterns.

Monday, May 5, 4:00 pm, Humanities 1006

Previous Lectures
February 10: Silvio Micali

james gatesProof, Secrets and Computation
Silvio Micali is the Ford Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests are cryptography, zero knowledge, pseudo-random generation, secure protocols and mechanism design. He has been on the faculty of MIT since 1983. He is the recipient of the AM Turing Award (in computer science), the Gödel Prize (in theoretical computer science) and the RSA prize (in
cryptography). Micali is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a visionary whose work has contributed to the mathematical foundations of cryptography and advanced the theory of computation. His nonconventional thinking has fundamentally changed our understanding of basic notions such as randomness, secrets, proof, knowledge, collusion and privacy, which have been debated for millennia. This foundational work was a key component in the development of the computer security industry, facilitated by his patents and startup companies. His work has also had great impact on other research areas in computer science and mathematics. Micali will show how Theory of Computation has revolutionized our millenary notion of a proof, revealing its unexpected applications to our new digital world. In particular, he will demonstrate how interaction can make proofs much easier to verify, dramatically limit the amount of knowledge released, and yield the most secure identification themes to date.

Monday, February 10, 2:30 pm, Wang Center Theater


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