Dr. Christopher Healey to Present at Visualization Friday Forum

Dr. Christopher G. HealeyOn Friday, October 4, Dr. Christopher G. Healey will visit Duke University to speak at the Visualization Friday Forum.

Christopher G. Healey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. He received a B.Math from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He is an Associate Editor for ACM Transactions on Applied Perception. His research interests include visualization, graphics, visual perception, and areas of applied mathematics, databases, artificial intelligence, and aesthetics related to visual analysis and data management.

We hope you can join us at the Friday Forum!

Visualizing Tweet Sentiment
Friday, October 4, 2013
12:00p.m. to 1:00p.m. (lunch provided)

Levine Science Research Center, Room D106 (near the Research Drive entrance), in conjunction with the Visualization Friday Forum

During this talk I will discuss a new project that focuses on ways to visualize text, specifically short text snippets like those found in tweets, SMS text messages, or Facebook wall posts. Our visualizations present text collections using a combination of numerous approaches: sentiment analysis, topic clusters, tag clouds, affinity graphs, volume timelines, and sentiment heatmaps. A second aspect of this project involves web-based visualization. We are implementing our visualization tools in Javascript, HTML, and CSS, allowing us to distribute our visualizations through any modern web browser, without the need for plug-ins. This also offers an opportunity to assess the strengths and limitations of current web-based visualization and user
interface libraries.

We chose Twitter as a testbed for our techniques. Twitter’s publicly accessible APIs allow us to query collections of recent tweets for user-chosen keywords, or to tap into the real-time tweet stream—the “firehose”—to capture tweets by keyword as they are posted. To assess the practical usefulness and usability of our visualizations, we partnered with WRAL TV, the CBS/Fox network affiliate for the Raleigh, North Carolina broadcast region. WRAL ran our Twitter visualizations on their web site during the each of the recent U.S. Presidential debates. This allowed viewers to watch the debate, and at the same time to monitor the volume, sentiment, and content of tweets about the debate as they were posted in real-time. WRAL reporters used a modified version of the visualization tool to perform post-analysis of the captured tweet stream. Interesting findings were included in news stories they published following the debates.

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