Bryant University
Bryant University - Bello Center

Gordon Research Conference on "Visualization in Science and Education", July 21-26, Bryant University, Smithfield, RI.

Chairs: Brian Martin & Martin Storksdieck
Vice Chairs: Bob Kolvoord & Katharina Scheiter

Conference applications must be submitted via GRC website for consideration by the conference chairs. Once accepted, applicants may then complete the Registration process. Conference costs include registration, accommodations and all meals during the conference. Transportation to and from the conference is available - see the FAQ page for more information.

Gordon Research Conference - Agenda

The over-arching theme for the 2013 Gordon Research Conference – Visualization in Science and Education is The Evolving Role of Visualization in Science and Education.  This will be achieved through the exploration of the following six sub-themes which also form the schedule for the conference:

Communicating Complex Science to the Public

Science is presented to the public in many ways – from complicated graphs in newspapers and websites to interactive displays at Museums and planetaria.  How effectively do these visualizations convey scientific ideas and attitudes?  For science to be a vibrant part of modern culture this question must be addressed.  To explore many of the contours of this vital role for visualizations we have enlisted a talented and diverse group of speakers:

Complexity in Visualization

We are inundated with information and navigating this burgeoning sea of data poses a significant challenge.  How can we best relate variables in a meaningful and intelligible way?  What insights can a cognitive psychologist or learning scientist or “bench bio-physicist” share to help explore the contours of this and related questions? To help explore this sub-theme we have (thus far) enlisted 5 outstanding speakers:

The session on complexity will be of particular interest to those who design visualizations for audiences with little time, patience or ability to study visual representations of scientific ideas in great depth: what are the trade-offs between simplicity and focus on key concepts and ideas, and a representations of actual complexity, whereby the message is not how complex a system is, but THAT it is complex. Creating awareness without focus on details is a common pedagogical approach in informal science settings.

Visualization in Mobile Environments

The emergence of small, powerful and highly portable computing devices offers unique opportunities and challenges to not only how we do science but also how we communicate science.  In this section two speakers have been thus far enlisted:

The Evolving Role of Visualization in STEM Education

Concerns over declines in STEM performance by students in many industrialized countries are legion.  “Visualization” is often touted as a panacea to “stem” this problem!  However, evidence of what works in visualization is elusive. This session brings together accomplished leaders in the field of STEM education to address these concerns.  Speakers are:

Augmented reality and other modes of visualization

How have recent technological innovations and how will emerging technologies re-define the scope of “visualization”?  This core question will animate this session. Previous GRC-VSE conferences have explored such topics as the GEOWALL (GRC-VSE 2003, GRC – VSE 2005) and  the use of gaming and immersive technologies to do and communicate science (GRC-VSE 2011).  This trend will continue in GRC-VSE 2013 with participation of  a group of accomplished speakers.  To date we have enlisted the following:

Visualization in the (scientific) workplace

To say that visualization is critical to the emergence of new knowledge is a vast understatement!  From Galileo’s first crude telescope to real-time visualization of global circulation patterns in ocean and atmosphere currents, the ability to interact with and “see” data is vital to the doing of science.  This session will explore state-of-the-art visualization tools and methods in a number of fields.  Speakers in this session will include:

Challenges for Visualization in  STEM Education



Topic and Speakers and Discussion Leaders (DL)

Sunday (evening)

7:30 - 9:30

Different Ways of Understanding Complexity in Visualization

  • Neal Overstrom (DL)
  • Mark Ballora: Seeing with Your Ears: Visualizing Data with Sound
  • Ralf Kaehler:Communicating Astrophysics and Cosmology through Visualization of Numerical Simulations

Monday (morning)

9:00 - 12:30

Complexity in  Visualization - Ongoing Challenges

  • Katharina Scheiter (DL)
  • Sara Fabrikant: The complexity of design: creating effective and efficient displays
  • Stephan Schwan: Processing scientific visualizations - does
    realism matter?
  • Jeff Heer: Interactive Data Analysis: Supporting the Analytic Lifecycle

Monday (evening)

7:30 - 9:30

Visualization in Mobile Environments

  • Liz Dorland (DL)
  • Gael McGill: E.O. Wilson's 'Life on Earth' digital textbook
  • Alex Clark: Chemical structures on mobile devices: creating, consuming & collaborating

Tuesday (morning)

9:00 - 12:30

Augmented Reality and other modes of Visualization

  • Bob Kolvoord (DL)
  • Susan Goldin-Meadow: How our hands help us visualize
  • Chia Shen: Multi-touch Tabletop Visualization of Life on Earth: Engagement, Embodiment and Social play
  • Adam Jones:Learning and Perceiving in Augmented Environments

Tuesday (evening )

7:30 - 9:30

Visualization in the Scientific Workplace

  • Ric Lowe (DL)
  • Claude Lechene
  • Elizabeth Krupinski: Optimizing Visualization of Medical Images by Understanding the Users

Wednesday (morning)

9:00 - 12:30

Communicating Complex Science to the Public

  • Mike Stieff (DL)
  • John Bailey: Google's Earth - The benefits and problems with modeling our world on your laptop
  • Rachel Connolly:Visualization as Narrative: message, story and impacts
  • Ned Gardiner:Visualizing the Earth System: A Carpenter's Perspective

Wednesday (evening)

7:30 - 9:30

Visualizing Unseen Worlds + Business meeting

  • Lynn Liben (DL)
  • John Maeda: Design, Data, Decisions
  • Kira Henderson : Science video journals to increase productivity in research and education

Thursday (morning)

9:00 - 12:30

Evolving Role of Visualization in  STEM Education

  • Ghislain Deslongchamps (DL)
  • John Jungck: Fostering Figuring and Fascination: Using 3D
    Modeling and 2D Image Analysis based on actual Biological Specimens to Understand Causal Mechanisms of Morphogenesis, Pattern Formation, and Evolutionary Morphology
  • Eric Wiebe: Meaning making through graphics: Semiotics and the role of adaptivesystems in elementary science education
  • Kathy Perkins: Implicit scaffolding: Designing intuitive interactive visualizations to engage students and support STEM learning

Thursday (evening)

7:30 - 9:30

Challenges for Visualization in  STEM Education

  • Peter Mahaffy (DL)
  • Steve Moore: Making it Easy, Relevant, and Smart: Overcoming Barriers to the Use of Visualization in STEM Education
  • David Uttal: Spatial Ability and STEM Learning: When, why, and how?

Table 1  Proposed schedule