Data is everywhere, but without a means to understand it, data is fundamentally useless. One avenue to make data meaningful is the use of visualization—interactive computer graphics for visually analyzing information. My expertise is in both spatial/scientific visualization (visualization of 3D structures, such as volume visualization volume visualization [Volume Graphics 2001]) and non-spatial/information visualization (visualization of abstract data, such as social networks [InfoVis 2003]). I work with data stakeholders on their tasks while at the same time delving the limits of visualization. Toward these ends, I focus on visualization theory, interactive visual analytics, and applications such as bioinformatics and security visualization. Fundamentally, I help others solve their problems.
Visualization Theory Visualization and visual analytics are part engineering (to solve problems) and part science (to suggests which solutions are best). I have spent the last decade investigating the science of visualization [Springer 2009]—-developing models and frameworks for improving visualization design. The first facet of this research involves improving and understanding interaction. For example, we developed a spreadsheet-like interface for exploring the space of visualization parameters (the factors which control what is seen) [TVCG 2001]; the spreadsheet acts as a window into the higher-dimensional parameter space with intuitive metaphors for navigation. The spreadsheet formalism also allows the sharing of visualization results on the desktop and on-line [IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications 2003]. This formalism was built upon observations of how users explore via visualization interfaces, leading to theories on how to improve the flow of visual exploration [Information Visualization 2011].
Using our understanding of visualization interfaces as a basis, I have built a body of work encapsulating the essence of visual exploration. Efforts in this area include a formal model of the visual exploration process [IEEE TVCG 2007] which characterizes the fundamental operation of visual exploration and provides a formal method for reasoning about such explorations [IPAR 2008]; essentially, every visualization generated consists of parameters, the method of generation, the generated result, and provenance that captures their interrelationships. These relationships can themselves be visualized, and we have proposed metrics to measure the efficacy of visualization interfaces based upon factors such as efficiency of exploration and depth of the parameter space investigated. This work led to award winning panels at IEEE Visualization 2006 and VisWeek 2011, and I have collaborated with others to foster workshops to further develop this important research area.
Visual Analytics Visualization integrated with interactive statistics is a powerful tool for making data actionable. In the last 5 years, we have worked with police officers and hurricane scientists to assist them with such analytic tools. For forensics investigators, we adapted visualization methods for text forensics [Information Visualization 2011]. Starting with an NSF-funded empirical study of the officers, we found inefficiencies that could be assisted by visualization. The data for the visualization is generated by our hard-disk analytics system; this system converts gigabytes of files into a database for finding connections in the textual data. Our second visual analytics system uses an interactive coupling of visualization and analytics to find correlations in hurricane trends [Computers and Geosciences 2009]; in contrast to the the forensics system, the hurricane analytics are initiated dynamically by the visualization which in-turn depicts the newly generated results. This close coupling facilitates hypothesis-exploration of the complex meteorological data. In both cases, the visual and the computational benefited our collaborators.
Interdisciplinary Applications In addition to the aforementioned work, I apply visualization to novel domains that integrate both scientific and information visualization. I contribute regularly to computer security visualization; efforts include systems for routing anomaly analysis [IEEE CG&A 2004], cluster traffic monitoring [ACMSE 2007], and the aforementioned forensics work. My long term collaboration with biologists resulted in several systems (e.g., effective multiple-domain visualization [BMC Bioinformatics 2009] and depictions of functional genomics experiments [BMC Bioinformatics 2010]). I have also contributed to liquid crystal physics by visualizating nematic liquid crystal behavior [IEEE TVCG 2006]) with provably superior communication of the physical behavior [Computer Graphics Forum 2010]. Visualization is interdisciplinary by nature, and I am constantly looking for additionally collaborators whom I can assist.
Presentations & invited talks
24 total talks (11 presentations, 13 invited talks) since 2000.
- Oct. 2012 “Toward Visualization for Games: Theory, Design Space, and Patterns,” Invited Talk, IEEE VisWeek 2012, Seattle, WA.
- May 2011 “The Case for Visual Analysis Provenance Cases,” Invited Talk, Workshop on Analytic Provenance: Process + Interaction + Insight, CHI 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
- June. 2010 “An Evaluation of Glyph Perception for Real Symmetric Traceless Tensor Properties,” Conference Presentation, EuroVis 2010, Bordeaux, France.
- Oct. 2009 “Information Wants to Be Seen: Getting Everyone Talking Vis,” Invited Talk, Visualization on the Web Workshop, VisWeek 2009, Atlantic City, NJ, USA.
- Oct. 2009 “A Visual Analytic Framework for Exploring Relationships in Textual Contents of Digital Forensics Evidence,” Conference Presentation, Sixth International Workshop on Visualization for Computer Security , Atlantic City, NJ, USA.
- Apr. 2009 “Better Visualization Through Visualization: Improving Visualization through Formal Models,” Invited Talk, Department of Computer Science, University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA.
- Sep. 2008 “Show Me How You See: Lessons from Studying Computer Forensics Experts for Visualization,” Conference presentation, Fifth International Workshop on Visualization for Computer Security, Cambridge, MA, USA.
- June 2008 “Using Visualization Process Graphs to Improve Visualization Exploration,” Conference presentation, Second International Provenance and Annotation Workshop, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
- Feb. 2008 “Seeing Biology: Visualization in Bioinformatics,” Invited Talk, Digital Biology Learning Community, Mississippi State University, USA.
- May 2007 “Teaching the Science of Information Visualization,” Invited talk, Dagstuhl Seminar on Human-Centered Information Visualization, Dagstuhl, Germany.
- Jan. 2007 “Shape Characteristics for Nematic Liquid Crystal Tensors,” Invited talk, Dagstuhl Seminar on Visualization and Processing of Tensor Fields, Dagstuhl, Germany.
- Oct. 2006 “Superellipsoid-based, Real Symmetric Traceless Tensor Glyphs Motivated by Nematic Liquid Crystal Alignment Visualization,” Conference presentation, IEEE Visualization 2006, Baltimore, MD, USA.
- Oct. 2006 “Combining Scientific and Information Visualization for Nematic Liquid Crystal Alignment Visualization,” Invited talk, Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Mississippi, USA.
- Sep. 2006 “A Model and Framework for Visualization Exploration,” Invited talk, Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, University of Utah, USA.
- Aug. 2006 “Combining Scientific and Information Visualization for Nematic Liquid Crystal Alignment Visualization,” Invited talk, Department of Computer Science, Brown University, USA.
- May 2006 “The Marriage of Scientific and Information Visualization,” Invited talk, Bagley College of Engineering Scientific Computing Working Group Seminar, Mississippi State University, USA.
- Mar. 2006 “Display Device Issues in Human-Centered Visualization Environments: Scale, Resolution, Interaction, and Usability,” Invited talk, GI/Dagsthul Research Seminar for Human-Centered Visualization Environments, Dagstuhl, Germany.
- Nov. 2005 “Visualizing Visualization—Improving Visualization Utility,” Invited talk, Institute for Neurocognitive Science and Technology, Mississippi State University, USA.
- June 2005 “MoireTrees: Visualization and Interaction for Multi-Hierarchical Data,” Conference presentation, Eurographics/IEEE VTCG Symposium on Visualization 2005, Leeds, UK, June 2005.
- Oct. 2003 “MoireGraphs: Radial Focus+Context Visualization and Interaction for Graphs with Visual Nodes,” Conference presentation, IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization 2003, Seattle, WA, USA.
- Oct. 2002 “A Model for the Visualization Exploration Process,” Conference presentation, IEEE Visualization 2002, Boston, MA, USA.
- July 2002 “VisSheet Redux: Redesigning a Visualization Exploration Spreadsheet for the Web,” Conference presentation, SIGGRAPH2002 Web Graphics Program, San Antonio, TX, USA.
- June 2001 “A Study of Transfer Function Generation for Time-Varying Volume Data,” Conference presentation, Second International Workshop on Volume Graphics, Stony Brook, NY, USA.
- Oct. 2000 “A Spreadsheet Interface for Visualization Exploration,” Conference presentation, IEEE Visualization 2000, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
- Oct 2011 T.J. Jankun-Kelly and Remco Chang (organizers), Claudio T. Silva, Scott Potter, Laura McNamara, and Chris Weaver. Process + Interaction + Insight: The Need for Analytic Provenance, IEEE VisWeek 2011, Providence, RI, USA. Best Panel Award
- Mar 2010 T.J. Jankun-Kelly, John Forde, and Tim Chamblee. Are you Engaged with Generation Next?, Center for Teaching and Learning, Mississippi State University, USA.
- Oct 2006 T.J. Jankun-Kelly (organizer), Robert Kosara, Gordon Kindlmann, Chris North, Colin Ware, and E. Wes Bethel, Is There Science in Visualization?, IEEE Visualization 2006, Baltimore, MD, USA. Best Panel Award
Grants & contracts
P.I. and Co-PI on 21 grants for a total of $3.2M (lead P.I. on nine grants or contracts totaling $934k).
- 2002–2006 Investigator, “Mississippi EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program,” National Science Foundation, $9,000,000 (Lead PI: Jonathan Pote).
- 2005 Primary Investigator, “Information Visualization for Network Security,” Mississippi State University Office of Research, $10,000.
- 2006 Primary Investigator, “Structured Visualization Environments for Large-Scale Displays,” Office of Naval Research, $48,197.
- 2005–2008 Primary Investigator, “Acquisition of a Display wall for Human Systems Research and Biological Imaging,” National Science Foundation, $400,000 (Co-PI: J. Edward Swan II).
- 2005–2006 Primary Investigator, “Exploration of Information Visualization for the CCSR,” Mississippi State Center for Computer Security Research, $10,000.
- 2006–2007 Investigator, “Rapid Prototyping Capability for Earth-Sun System Sciences,” National Aeronautics and Space Administration, $6,432,211 (Lead PIs: Robert Moorhead and David Shaw).
- 2006–2010 Primary Investigator, “CT-ISG: Empirically-based Visualization for Computer Security and Forensics,” National Science Foundation, $300,000 (Co-PIs: Jeff Carver, J. Edward Swan II, David Dampier).
- 2007–2008 Co-Investigator, “Assured Strategic Communications During Natural and Willful Disasters,” Department of Homeland Security, $492,000 (PI: Lori Bruce)
- 2008–2009 Primary Investigator, “Game Technology for Increasing Interest in Computer Science,” Schillig Special Teaching Projects, Mississippi State University, $2,833 (Co-PI: J. Edward Swan II)
- 2008–2010 Co-Investigator, "Proposal for Network Attack Characterization, Modeling, and Simulation Test (NACMAST) Center," EWA Incorporated/Army Research Laboratory, $250,562 (PI: Ray Vaughn)
- 2010–2013 Co-Investigator, “REU Site: Undergraduate Research in Computational Biology at Mississippi State University,” National Science Foundation, $275,000 (PI: Andy D. Perkins)
- 2010 Primary Investigator, “Modifications to the Vicksburg District’s Flood Event Simulation Model,” Mendrop Wages/Army Corps of Engineers, $38,796
- 2011–2012 Co-Investigator, “WORKSHOP: Doctoral Colloquium at IEEE VisWeek 2011,” National Science Foundation, $19,646 (PI: Robert Kosara)
- 2011–2012 Primary Investigator, “Mobile Computing for Improved Student Competitiveness,” Schillig Special Teaching Projects, Mississippi State University, $2,912
- 2012–2012 Co-Investigator, Smart Energy Grid Test and Evaluation Technical Support,” Oak Ridge National Laboratory/Department of Energy, $57,820 (PI: Rayford Vaughn, Co-PI: Tommy Morris)
- 2012–2013 Primary Investigator, “Novel Visualization for Computational Biology Annotation and Expression,” National Science Foundation/Mississippi EPSCoR, $36,000 (Co-PIs: Fiona McCarthy, Jianxia Xue)
- 2014–2015 Co-Investigator, “G4/G6: Visualization,” Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, $376,644 (PI: Ioana Banicescu. Co-PIs: J. Edward Swan II, Song Zhang)
- 2015–2016 Co-Investigator (PI on subcontract), “SimBRS WD60: Storage and Management of Larg Data Sets,” United States Army Corps of Engineers, $399,115.31 (PI: Roger King. Co-PIs: James Fowler, Song Zhang)
- 2017–2020 Co-Investigator (PI on subcontract), “REU Site: Undergraduate Research in Computational Biology at Mississippi State University,” National Science Foundation, $106,473 (PI: Andy D. Perkins; Co-PIs: Federico G. Hoffmann, Heather Jordan, Bindumadhavi Bharani Nanduri, Daniel Peterson, Marilyn Warburton, Mark E. Welch)
- 2017–2020 Primary Investigator, “Big Data Visualization,” United States Army Corps of Engineers, $84,619.
- 2013 Co-Inventor, “Interactive Parallel Coordinates with Multiple Regression,” US Patent #8,346,682, January 2013.