This past September, the UT Dallas Computer Science department hosted the Ninth Annual International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction (VINCI’16) in Dallas, TX. This symposium is an international forum for researchers and industrial practitioners to discuss the state-of-the-art in visual communication theories, designs, and applications. UT Dallas CS professors, including Drs. Kang Zhang (General Chair), Pushpa Kumar (Local Organization Chair), and Jey Veerasamy (Finance Chair), served as chairs for the symposium.
According to the VINCI conference website, “In today’s digital world, visual information is typically encoded with various metaphors commonly used in daily life to facilitate rapid comprehension and easy analysis during the communication process. Visual information communication generally encompasses information visualization, graphical user-interfaces, visual analytics, and visual languages. Visual information is increasingly being used to facilitate human-human communication through the Internet and mobile devices.”
Dr. Kang Zhang, UT Dallas Computer Science professor and VINCI’16 General chair, described the conference as, “The first conference of its kind that was able to gather together researchers from a various academic and professional disciplines including psychology, computer science, art and design, education; who are all focusing on visual information communication from different angles, yet complementing each other’s work. Those who attended benefited from the many different approaches presented by researchers in other disciplines.”
Dr. Pushpa Kumar, UT Dallas Professor and VINCI’16 Local Organization Chair, agreed with Dr. Zhang by saying, “VINCI is a world class gathering of multi-disciplinary researchers and industry professionals who are enthusiastically engaged in the rich exchange of ideas for advancing the field of visual information communication with others.”
This year, the conference featured two keynote talks given by internationally distinguished researchers: Drs. Roger Malina of the University of Texas at Dallas and Georges Grinstein of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Both lecturers provided a deeper understanding of Visual Information Communication and Interaction through their keynote talks. Dr. Roger Malina, UT Dallas Arts and Technology (ATEC) Distinguished Chair Professor and UT Dallas Professor of Physics, presented his talk titled “Beyond the Two Cultures: A Crisis in Representation.” During his talk, Dr. Malina presented work done in the UT Dallas ArtSciLab with neuroscientists, astronomers and geoscientists, and spoke about the newborn digital hybrids whose existence gives the lie to the very concept of C P Snow’s Two Cultures.
Dr. George Grinstien, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Chief Scientific Officer of Weave Visual Analytics, presented his keynote talk at the conference titled, “Visual Analytics and the VAST Challenges: This Year’s Challenge and a Retrospective Look at an Influential International Competition.” During his talk, Dr. Grinstein discussed several key problems in Visual Analytics, provided examples of how the VAST Challenges were developed as an attack on these problems, and presented award-winning solutions. He also discussed the importance of open source tools in solving these problems.
This year, the conference received 52 submissions in total – 42 full paper, 6 short papers, and 4 poster submissions – from the international research community, each of which carefully reviewed by at least three Program Committee members. Based on these reviews, 14 full papers were accepted for presentation at the conference along with 4 oral presentations and 9 posters. The papers covered a broad range of visual communication topics, ranging from visualization, to designs, theories, and applications.
Next year, the VINCI conference will be held in Bangkok, Thailand.
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 2,100 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,000 MS master’s students, 150 PhD students, and 86 faculty members, as of Fall 2016. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.