Semester Project:

The goal of the semester project is to perform visualization research. You will form teams of 2-3 students at the beginning of the semester and work on different aspects of your project right from the start. If you have a compelling reason to want to work alone on your project, please talk to me.

The project consists of two main parts, the actual visualization project, including status presentations, and the final write-up in form of a research paper. You should document the progress of your project in a ‘project notebook’.

Successful overall projects (visualization, paper, video) are will be submitted to the IEEE VIS or an appropriate other venue.

Project Timeline:

The projects will go through three main phases. Detailed deadlines will be posted on Canvas.

Project kick-off: The main goal in the first phase is to decide on a project topic, do literature research, find data, define the scope of the project, and define the main goals and challenges.


  • Around Week 3: Written project proposal (3-5 pages; see Canvas submission for more details).
  • Project presentation 1 in class (~15 minutes).

Main project phase: In this phase you will do all the visual designs, sketching, implementation, and evaluation of your project.


  • Weeks 6-8: Visualization Paper Draft, Part 1 (Abstract, Introduction, Related Work; ~10-20 references).
  • Revised Paper Draft.
  • 1st milestone: Submission visualization prototype (and project notebook).
  • Project presentation 2 in class (~15 minutes) and peer feedback.

Project delivery: In the last phase you will submit and present your final projects.


  • Around Week 14: Final submission of visualization prototype (and project notebook).
  • Final project presentations (~15 minutes).
  • Final paper submission (4 pages + 1 page of references).


Your final project should be your honest attempt at doing visualization research. Below you can find some guidelines for each of the deliverables in your project.

Project notebook: We want you to document all the steps you take in your project. This notebook is mainly meant for yourselves to take notes during meetings, document your ideas, brainstorm about different options, and jot down visualization sketches, etc. Here is an example of a project notebook.

Project proposal: Your project proposal should be an introduction to your project topic. You can attach it directly to your project notebook (3-5 pages). Please make sure that the proposal covers the project idea, project goal, motivation, a data description and where you will get the data (if appropriate). You can also include your first ideas of how to approach the topic of your choice.

Project presentation 1: In class you will give a scientific talk (15 minutes) about your project proposal. We expect you to give an introduction to your project (background, idea, goal, motivation, data, methods, etc.) and be prepared for questions and subsequent discussion. Here are some guidelines on how to give a scientific presentation. Use this opportunity to hone your presentation skills! We will also give you feedback on your presentation style and slides.

Paper draft 1:
For the first paper draft we expect you to write the abstract, introduction, and related work sections of your paper. Please use the IEEE TVCG paper template and aim for a short paper format (i.e., the entire paper should have four pages plus up to one page of references). We encourage you to use Latex for paper writing. There are several very nice Latex editors available, such as Overleaf. Your related work section should contain roughly 10-20 references.

Paper draft 1 - Revision: Paper writing is an iterative process. After receiving your peer reviews, you should revise your paper draft based on the feedback you received.

1st milestone: Your first milestone should contain your visualization prototype (e.g., source code, experiment design, etc.) and an up-to-date project notebook. The notebook should document the current state of the project, including screenshots and descriptions of your visualizations, methods, experiments, videos etc. You should be about 65% done with your project by milestone 1.

Project presentation 2:
You will give another scientific talk (15 minutes) about your project. In this talk you should focus on the core contribution of your paper. Elaborate on your choices for designs/methods/experiments and also outline your plans for the final evaluation. After each presentation we will have a group discussion and peer feedback round. We will specifically ask for positive, as well as critical feedback to your presentation.

Final submission: Your final project submission should consist of all your project files (source code, project notebook, data, experiments and evaluation data, results, images, timings, etc.). You should also submit a running demo (when appropriate) and a short video (2-4 minutes) about your project, highlighting your research contribution.

Final presentation:
At the end of the semester we will have the final project presentations. You should prepare a 15 minute talk that you would give if you were to present your work at a scientific conference. Assume that people know about visualization, but they do not know your project. Here is a short guide on how to give a scientific presentation.

Final paper:
In the final week of the course you will hand in your visualization research paper. Your paper should now also include your methods, results, evaluation, summary and discussion. As for the first draft, please follow the IEEE TVCG publication guidelines but follow a short paper format (4 pages + 1 page of references).