Visualization Project

The last major component of this course will be the execution of a term project and research paper. You will pick a topic to research, do background reading on the subject, produce visualizations to support your analysis of the subject, and present your findings in an oral presentation and written research paper.


Projects will be structured as a sequence of phases. Completion of one phase is not required for initiation of the next. In many cases, it will benefit you to be working on multiple phases at the same time. For instance, you might be creating visualizations of your data while searching for other information on the topic.

Pitch and Design

Describe your plans to meet these requirements in a proposal of approximately 1-2 pages. Give a five to ten minute summary of your proposal to the class. Your proposal should describe:

Alpha Release

Your initial implementation goal is to produce any visualization of your data that you plan to use in your paper. Submit an image and short description (about a page) of what the image shows and how it was produced.

Beta Release

By beta release, you should have created all visualizations that you intend to use in your paper. Turn in a document containing all visualizations and their captions.


Prepare and present a 15 minute presentation of your project. Your presentation should be professional enough to give at a technical conference (e.g. organized approach, prepared slides). Dress appropriately for a technical conference.


Write an approximately ten page research paper describing your findings. Sections you should plan to include are: abstract, introduction, previous work, approach, analysis, unanswered questions, and references. You may submit earlier, not necessarily complete, drafts of your paper if you would like feedback earlier in the writing process. Correct spelling and grammar count in all submitted work, so check them before you hand anything in.


Each phase of the project has a due date. In this way, as in others, this project mimics work in the real world. Phases may be turned in up to one week after the due date with a 20% grade penalty. Phases will not be accepted more than a week late.
Phase Due Date
Pitch and Design April 26
Alpha Release May 3
Beta Release May 10
Presentation May 15
Paper May 15

Contributions to Grade

Each phase of the project will make an individual contribution to your grade. If a phase is missed, that portion of the grade will be a zero. You should consider this a compelling reason to start your project now and work steadily throughout the rest of the semester, rather than making a grand push at the very end of the semester.
Phase Percent of Final Grade
Pitch 2.5
Design 2.5
Alpha Release 2
Beta Release 3
Presentation 2.5
Paper 7.5
Total for Project 20