Final Project

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Purpose

The purpose of the final project is to provide hands-on experience designing, implementing, and evaluating a new visualization method, algorithm or tool. Projects will be carried out by a team of up to 3 people. Your project should address a concrete visualization problem and should propose a novel, creative solution. The final deliverable will be an implementation of the proposed solution and a paper written in the format of a conference paper submission. Though the majority of projects concern the development of a software artifact, design studies or evaluations of visualization techniques may also be acceptable projects — please talk to the course staff if you have questions.

In addition, each group will be responsible for presenting the project twice. The initial presentation should describe the visualization problem that the project will address, relevant related work, current progress, and final milestones. Take advantage of this presentation as a chance to get feedback on the direction of the project from the rest of the class! At the end of the class we will have a public final project poster session so that groups can show their work to others and a number of invited guests from academia and industry.

Prior to starting your project, it is helpful to gain a sense of what goes into formulating a successful visualization project. We encourage you to read the following guidelines for writing visualization research papers. It is an enjoyable read and should help you avoid common pitfalls, even if you do not have a research focus:

Suggested Project Topics

To get you started in thinking about project ideas we have a number of final project suggestions for you to consider.

In addition, Edward Tufte's site is another place to look for project ideas. His question/answer area is full of ideas that would make good class projects. If you are interested in conducting human subject experiments, Stephen Few has put together a collection of possible questions to explore.

Several previous visualization courses have had project components. Browsing through the final reports may help you think about what you might like to do. These descriptions may also help you determine the realistic size and scope of a project.

Deliverables/Schedule

Project Proposal

As a first step you should create a project proposal (in the form of a wiki page) that includes the names of the members of your group and a short (1 to 2 paragraph) description of the visualization problem you plan to address. See the bottom of this page for instructions on making the wiki page for this assignment. This sample assignment page gives an example of the kind of the page format you might wish to use for the project.

Project Progress Presentation

A good way to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your project is to present your ideas to your classmates for feedback. Thus, each group will be expected to present their project idea and current status to a subset of the class. The presentation should expand on the the project proposal and include the following material.

Your presentation to the class should include:

  • A description of the problem you will address and motivation explaining why it is worth addressing.
  • In your description you should mention 1-2 pieces of the most relevant prior work, and discuss how your project is different.
  • Your current progress. Use sketches, storyboards, and/or prototype images to communicate your ideas. It is a good idea to highlight issues of design or implementation for which you would like to get feedback from the class. End your talk with a single slide containing questions you'd like feedback on.
  • Keep your presentation concise – no more than a few (3-4) minutes. Use at least half of that time to discuss your design ideas and completion plan. It is difficult to communicate effectively in such a short time span: carefully revise your materials and practice your talk to avoid rambling and unnecessary description.

You should also submit a progress report, which include:

  • Literature Review. A background survey of related work and a full list of references.
  • Project Plan. A list of milestones breaking the project into smaller chunks and a description of what each person in the group will work on.

Submission: Add a link to a pdf of your slides to your final project page by 10am on 11/16. See this sample assignment page and the section on Project Progress Presentation for an example of how to link your slides.


Final Project Poster Presentation -- due Fri 12/9

We will hold a public presentation of the final projects on Fri Dec 9, from 3pm to 5pm at Lathrop 282. The poster session will give you a chance to show off the hard work you put into your project, and to learn about the projects of your peers. Be prepared to give a 5 minute oral presentation at your poster to both the instructors and visitors. You should include a demo of your project along with the poster. The poster will be considered a final deliverable, so don't forget to apply good visual design principles to your poster as well as your project. The final poster should include the following information:

  • Problem: A clear statement of the problem your project addresses.
  • Motivation: An explanation of why the problem is interesting and what makes it difficult to solve.
  • Approach: A description of the techniques or algorithms you used to solve the problem.
  • Results: Screenshots and a working demo of the system you built.
  • Future Work: An explanation of how the work could be extended.

Posters can be printed at Lathrop Library, Fedex on campus store, Costco ($25) or Walgreens ($24). They normally have a 2 day turnaround, but, as usual, it's better to print earlier. You can order online and pick it up from the store. Please talk to us if you need help printing your poster well in advance of the poster presentation session.

We will provide easels, poster boards, pins and tapes for you to mount your posters.

Submission: Add a link to the pdf of your poster to your final project page.

Final Project Deliverables (Code and Paper) -- due Sun 12/11 by 11:59pm

The final deliverables will include:

  • Code: an implementation of your system (source code and executable).
  • Paper: an 6-8 page paper written in the form of a conference paper submission. The paper should present related work, a detailed description of your system and a discussion of your design.

Submission: You should add links to your final deliverables (access to a running executable and a zip file of the code, or a link to a github repository as well as a pdf of the paper) to the wiki page for your project.

Paper

The final paper should be in the style of a conference paper submission. The paper should include content that is typical of papers that appear at IEEE Visualization, SIGGRAPH, or CHI. In particular it should contain:

  • Introduction - An explanation of the problem and the motivation for solving it.
  • Related Work - A description of previous papers related to your project.
  • Methods - A detailed explanation of the techniques and algorithms you used to solve the problem.
  • Results - The visualizations your system produces and data to help evaluate your approach. For example you may include running times, or the time users typically spend generating a visualization using your system.
  • Discussion - What has the audience learned about visualization from your work?
  • Future Work - A description of how your system could be extended.

Your final paper should be formatted using the 2 column formatting of papers that appear at IEEE Visualization, SIGGRAPH or CHI. Although there are some differences in format between these conferences, you are free to pick from any of these three. If you need help finding a formatting template talk to us. Formatting templates for CHI can be found here.

Add a link to your finished assignment here

One you are finished editing the page, add a link to it here with project title as the link text. The wiki syntax will look like this: *[[FP-FirstnameLastname|Your Project Title]]. Groups of two or more people should use URLs of the form: FP-FirstnameLastname1-FirstnameLastname2-FirstnameLastname3. Hit the edit button for this section to see how I created the link for my name.