Welcome to Booster!
Volume 16  May  2014
Message from the Director
Visual Analytics: Great Solution for Incredibly Diverse Decision Making Environments
The VACCINE Center, with its expertise in visual analytics, is fortunate to be part of a highly dynamic field whose demand is rapidly increasing and far reaching. With the rapid growth of big data in a myriad of areas and many products pushing autonomous data analytics as solutions, a diverse group of decision makers, researchers, and practitioners are appreciating the need for interactive, human-in-the-loop visual analytic environments.  Just during this past month, VACCINE researchers have engaged many diverse communities. For example, Dr. Kelly Gaither, Director of Visualization and a Senior Research Scientist at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, co-chaired the Invitational Summit on Education Data Visualization at the University of Texas at Austin where I was able to provide a keynote talk on visual analytics for educational management, instruction, and student success. Dr. Brian Fisher of Simon Fraser University, Dr. William Ribarsky of the University of North Carolina Charlotte, and I chaired a symposium at the Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention in San Francisco on thinking with visual information systems. Dr. Alan MacEachren and his Penn State University team hosted the International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2014). VACCINE has been involved in meetings with the United States Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security’s Policy Office regarding visual analytics and decision making, agricultural companies to create visual analytic solutions as alternatives to big data analytics for business and agriculture management, health management centers on using visual analytics for practice management and assessment of clinical research transition, and numerous groups about effective situational awareness from social media and public safety effectiveness and assessment. These are just a few strong examples of the expansion of the field of visual analytics. They are representative of the value that other disciplines are placing on the benefits that visual analytics can offer them in terms of more effective understanding and analysis of large datasets, enhanced decision making ability in real-time environments, and effective communication of information to staff, management, and the public. The increased success of these applications in different industries, fields, and communities will continue to fuel the growth in visual analysis applications of all types in the coming years, thereby making it a critical tool in our nation’s overall scientific discovery.
Best, 
David
SURF Students Join VACCINE for the Summer 
Five SURF students joined the VACCINE team for an 11-week research program this summer on Purdue University's campus. The SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships) program matches undergraduates with a faculty member and graduate student mentor who introduce them to the research tools used on the cutting edges of science, engineering, and technology. The SURF program is helping students across engineering, science, and technology disciplines to discover a world of opportunity available to them through research. By closely working with other creative and innovative people, students explore, discover, and transform ideas into reality to advance society and improve people's lives. The program runs from May 27th through August 8th, 2014. SURF 2014 students are: Yuchen Cui (Purdue University); Justus Karenzi (California Baptist University); James Tay (Purdue University); Isaac Sheeley (Purdue University); and Renjun Zhang (Purdue University). 
Below: VACCINE 2014 SURF Students
VACCINE Conducts "Evaluation of Visual Analytics" Workshop at UCSD
VACCINE conducted an "Evaluation of Visual Analytics" workshop at the University of California San Diego on May 20th and 21st, 2014. Featured speakers included presentations by Dr. David Ebert, Purdue University; Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale, University of Calgary; Dr. Min Chen, Oxford University; and Dr. Brian Fisher, Simon Fraser University. Some of the topics addressed during the workshop included background on visual analytics evaluation ideas, approaches to evaluation, Cogsci perspective, earlier work in assessment (e.g. BELIV, Science of Interaction meetings), and evaluation methods (e.g. Design, Lab study, Field study, Software).
Below: Dr. David Ebert addresses attendees at the 2014 "Evaluation of Visual Analytics" Workshop at the University of California San Diego.
VACCINE Visits Motorola 
Professor Ed Delp, graduate student Khalid Tahboub, and Engagement and Transition Manager Heather Connell met in May at the Motorola offices in downtown Chicago. The meeting involved members of the Motorola team, DHS representatives, and the Chicago Police Department to review progress on a DHS funded project to improve public safety with regard to enhanced streaming video capabilities. 
Below: Motorola's Matt Weiner demonstrates some of their public safety tools to Professor Ed Delp and Khalid Tahboub.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
-  VACCINE research partners Dr. Alan MacEachren and Dr. Justine Blanford of Penn State University gave a presentation in May to FEMA regarding their Symbology research as well as their research related to the use of Twitter to gauge public response to official alerts and warnings. Their presentation was part of the FEMA IPAWS-Alerts and Warnings Symbology Working Group Meeting.
Professor Niklas Elmqvist won the 2014 Purdue Student Government Graduate Mentoring Award. The goal of this award program is to recognize Purdue University graduate faculty for their outstanding mentoring of graduate students on the Purdue University campus. This award is unique in that graduate students are solely responsible for nominating and selecting faculty candidates as well as voting on the recipient. The selection criteria used to evaluate applications were excellence in mentoring, research agenda, graduate teaching, and university and community engagement.
- VACCINE Director Dr. David Ebert was the keynote speaker at the Invitational Summit on Education Data Visualization at the University of Texas Austin on May 9th and 10th, 2014. Ebert also spoke at the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Annual Convention in San Francisco, California on May 23rd, 2014.  
- The students from VACCINE's computer lab attended a GIS Workshop May 22nd, 2014 organized by the GIS Libraries Department of Purdue University. The workshop covered exposure, training, and guidance for implementing GIS and spatial thinking into research and learning as well as how to train with ESRI GIS software and how to gain deeper educational skills in GIS.
- VACCINE has a position opening for an Education Program Manager. This position will oversee and coordinate the educational mission of the VACCINE center, facilitate education work plans, implement strategic goals, lead and coordinate multi-institution research activities, and coordinate the center’s Minority Serving Institution programs. If interested, please visit  www.purdue.edu/hr/careers/
- VACCINE will be hosting an MSI faculty workshop at Morgan State University in Baltimore on July 29th and 30th, 2014. 
- Students from Morgan State University will be visiting VACCINE from July 6th through July 19th. 
- VACCINE will be hosting a research retreat on July 21st in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- VACCINE's annual meeting has been set for October 15th and 16th, 2014 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
- For a resource link to jobs, workshops, and open paper calls, including those for specific workshops at KDD, click here.
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