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February 6, 2012

Speaker: Marian Dörk, University of Calgary

Title: Visualization for Search:Exploring Complex and Dynamic Information Spaces

Abstract: Regardless whether during work or leisure, growing information spaces accompany more and more of our everyday activities. As we go through lists of search results, news items, and status updates, we encounter digital information for a wide range of purposes. While the dominant models of information seeking emphasize information needs and gaps, the model of the information flaneur advocates a shift away from deficiencies towards more positive tendencies such as curiosity and creativity. Using the exploratory mindset of an urban flaneur as a lens, one can envision new ways of making information collections more explorable using interactive visualizations.\r\n\r\nIn my research, I create interfaces that pick up on current technical trends to support information practices embodied by the information flaneur. In this presentation, I will show three projects: web-based visualization widgets (VisGets), a Twitter interface with dynamic visualizations (Visual Backchannel), and a visualization technique that integrates explicit and implicit data relations (EdgeMaps). First results of these case studies suggest novel forms of information seeking, during which visualizations can help the searcher to gain a sense of overview and orientation.

Biography: Marian Dörk is a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary, where he works with his advisors Sheelagh Carpendale and Carey Williamson in the InnoVis group and Interactions Lab. In his PhD work, he brings together research on information seeking and visualization. He studied Computational Visualistics (Dipl.-Ing.) at Universitt Magdeburg and has also undertaken research at Universidad de Chile, IBM Research, and Microsoft Research. Marian enjoys riding his bike through the city, growing food in a community garden, and taking pictures of streetart.