Brian J. d'Auriol, Ph.D.

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Brian J. d'Auriol, Visualization Used in Computer Science, March 14, 2000, Dept. Math. & Computer Science, Kent State University, Ohio, USA.

Brian J. d'Auriol, Program Visualization of Geometric Represented Programs, March 28, 2000, Dept. Math. & Computer Science, Kent State University, Ohio, USA.

Visualization has been described as the "process of forming a mental picture or vision of something not actually present to the sight"[1]. This definition reflects a cognitive or 'human' perspective of visualization . Visualization in the technical sense is better described by combining with this definition, "the transformation of data or information into pictures"[2] or other sensory media. Perhaps the most popular application has been scientific visualization. Here, the researcher uses graphical, multi-media or other sensory devices to assist in the formation of a mental picture of a dataset, for example, a terrain map. Visualization has also been the subject of widespread interest in computer science. However, unlike its scientific application counterpart, software visualization has neither achieved popularity nor mainstream acceptance. This interesting status-quo exists despite significant amounts of research published in specific journals and conferences in the area.

The first talk, titled 'Visualization Used in Computer Science' reviews some theoretical basis for the application of visualization in computer science. Application areas such as algorithm visualization, program visualization, information visualization and case tools are briefly discussed. Next, we look at aspects of several visualization systems that have been proposed in the literature. We continue our discussions by looking at empirical studies of software visualization. We conclude the first talk by considering the implications of visualization in computer science, in particular, by seeking to establish characterizations.

In the second talk, titled 'Program Visualization of Geometric Represented Programs', we focus on a specific research project, proposed by the speaker, that models software construction geometrically. That is, programs are constructed entirely in a geometric domain (without need to initially code programs in a `language'). A mathematical representation is developed. Due to the complexities of such a representation, especially, the abstractness of such, visualization technique become necessary to the programmer/user so that a `mental picture' of the software can be formed. This talk consists of the three parts: (a) geometrical modeling of software, (b) mathematical representation, and (c) visualization using the AVS/Express commercial software package.

[1] Price, Baecker and Small, ``A Principled Taxonomy of Software Visualization'', J. Visual Languages and Computing, pp. 211-266, 1993.
[2] Schroeder, Martin, and Lorensen, The Visualization Toolkit, Prentice Hall, 1996

Last Updated: August 1, 2007