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Revisiting the Need for Formal Education in Visualization
November/December 2007 (vol. 27 no. 6)
pp. 12-16
Holly Rushmeier, Yale University
Jason Dykes, The City University, London
John Dill, Simon Fraser University
Peter Yoon, Trinity College
In a Visualization Viewpoints article published in 2000, Gitta Domik posed the question, Do we need formal education in visualization? Domik held that we do, and the reasons she gave are just as valid today: Careless production of visualizations leads to misinterpretation, the design of visualizations of complex data is not trivial, and increasingly decision making is based on data-generated images. The need for formal education leads to more questions though: What should be taught in a visualization course? Who should take visualization courses? Who should teach those courses? Domik focused on answers to the first question and presented a series of eight core visualization topics based on the Education for Visualization subcommittee work of the ACM Siggraph Education Committee. In revisiting the topic for this article we focus on all three questions, and discuss some issues raised at the IEEE Visualization 2006 Workshop on Visualization Education for Non-Technical Majors.

1. G. Domik, "Do We Need Formal Education in Visualization?" IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 20, no. 4, 2000, pp. 16–19.
2. P. Hanrahan, "Teaching Visualization," ACM Siggraph Computer Graphics, vol. 39, no. 1, 2005, pp. 4–5.
3. J. Genetti et al., "Panel 4: What Should We Teach in a Scientific Visualization Class?" Proc. Visualization 2004, IEEE CS Press, 2004, pp. 573–575.
4. D. Staley, Computers, Visualization, and History: How New Technology Will Transform Our Understanding of the Past, M.E. Sharpe, 2003.
5. J. Thomas and K. Cook, Illuminating the Path: The Research and Development Agenda for Visual Analytics, IEEE CS Press, 2005.
6. E. Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd ed., Graphics Press, 2001.
7. D. Keefe et al. "Artistic Collaboration in Designing VR Visualizations," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 25, no. 2, 2005, pp. 18–23.

Index Terms:
visualization program, higher education, curriculum
Citation:
Holly Rushmeier, Jason Dykes, John Dill, Peter Yoon, "Revisiting the Need for Formal Education in Visualization," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 12-16, Nov.-Dec. 2007, doi:10.1109/MCG.2007.156
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