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A New Vision for Scientific Visualizations

An interview with Juliana Freire, one of the creators of VisTrails, a data visualization program. In recent decades, researchers have used computers to build complex visualizations based on large data sets to gain a better perspective on their research. Programming a computer to produce these visualizations is not an easy task, however. And as the amount of data collected in our world grows, the challenge of organizing all that information into an accurate and cohesive picture becomes even more difficult.

Enter VisTrails, an NSF-supported suite of visualization tools developed by Juliana Freire and Claudio Silva, both associate professors of computer science at the University of Utah. VisTrails makes it much easier for scientists to create complex visualizations, data mining and other types of large-scale data analysis applications by taking automating many of the difficult and time-consuming backend work that goes into producing them.

Credit: National Science Foundation; edited by Mike Sosinski

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