Course syllabus

Note: the course pages are being updated so changes can occur until the start of the course.


CIU187 / DIT109 Information visualization VT22 (7,5hp)

Revised March 2nd, 2022

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Course purpose

In this course, we will study the science, craft and art of visualizing information. A basic premise in this endeavour is that visualization is an extension of our minds into the world and a powerful cognitive tool to both perceive and communicate information. It extends our senses and provides new ways to express our ideas, facilitating both exploration of the world (and data representing the world) and sharing of information and understanding. As such, an understanding of human perception, as well as the technological means for creating visualizations, provides the basis for knowledgeable work with information visualization.

Course start

The course starts at 10:15 Tuesday, January 18th. The courses and exercises will be taken place on campus, the supervision sessions will be conducted via Zoom (the links will be provided in the schedule below).

Contact details


Jasmina Maric (

Staffan Björk (

Yuchong Zhang

Sjoerd Hendriks

Course communication

Course communication will be through this Canvas room, including announcements. Students that wish to contact teachers can do so through personal messages in Canvas or through email. Zoom will only be used for supervision.

Course literature

Colin Ware, Information Visualization - Perception for Design, 4th ed. (2021)

Course design

The theory introduced in lectures will be combined with group exercises to introduce tools and technologies. Practical experience can be gained through the group project. A two-part home exam frames the course, the first part testing understanding of theoretical concepts and analytical abilities and the second part testing abilities to design and reflect on information visualizations. The grade will depend on the project in combination with a home exam. See below for more details.

Lectures. Slides will be provided after lectures but they will be designed to be presented live and provide material for discussion and explanations at lectures. They will not be designed to be read independently afterwards.

Exercises are independent group work, completing an assignment. 







10.15-12.00 Lecture: Course Intro and Information Visualisation Overview
with Jasmina Maric Room: Svea118

recorded lecture

13:15-16.00 Lecture and Exercise: Properties of Human Perception
with Jasmina Maric Room: Jupiter309, Jupiter310

Online track: zoom link


10:15-12.00 Lecture: Information Visualization Techniques & Design Process
with Jasmina Maric Room: Svea118



09.15-12.00 Lecture: Dark Information Visualization
with Jasmina Maric Room: DELTA

Online track

Lecture slides

Recorded lecture

13:15-16.00 Exercise: Dark Patterns with Jasmina Maric: High and Low

Online track


10:15-12.00 Lecture: Interactivity in Information Visualization & Quantified self
with Jasmina Maric Room: Svea118

Online track

Recorded lecture


10.15-12.00 Lecture: An Introduction of Visual Analytics

with Yuchong Zhang Room: Jupiter121

Online track

Recorded lecture


9.15-12.00 Guest Lecture: Data Storytelling
with Yuchong Zhang Room: Svea118

Online track

Recorded lecture


10.15-12.00 Lecture: Information Visualization in Games
with Staffan Björk Room: Svea 118
Online lecture

Recorded lecture


13:15- 16:00 Guest lecture: Maria Redström and Johanna Altenstedt

Online lecture


09.15-12.00 Exercise: 

Information Visualization in Games
with Staffan Björk Room: High and Low

Online track


09.15-12.00 Literature seminar 

Online session

13:15-16:00 Supervision


 9.15 - 12.00 Supervision

Deadline Home Exam, pt. I


 09.15-12.00 Guest Lecture: How to visualize the invisible: City Information Visualization within Urban Planning
with Beata Wästberg and Liane Thuvander
online session

13.15-17.00 Exercise: with Beata Wästberg and Liane Thuvander
online session


 09.15-12:00 Supervision

 09:15 -09:55 Staffan Björk will be with us


09.15-12.00 Peer Review  online session

13.15 -16.00 Supervision 

Supervision Sheet

15:00 - 16:00 Staffan Björk will be with us


09:15 - 9:45 Introduction Home Exam part 2

Room: High and Low

10:00 -12.00 Deadline Design project
Presentations design project Room: High, Low


09.15-12.00 Supervision

 & Supervision Sheet

13.15-16.00 Supervision
Supervision Sheet


09.15-12.00 Supervision 
Supervision Sheet


09.15-12.00 Supervision  
Supervision Sheet


09.15-12.00 Supervision  
Supervision Sheet

 Deadline Home Exam, pt. II at 24:00


Note: TimeEdit does show the times and dates for activities but does not show location properly, and time and dates may change here; use TimeEdit as the last backup. 


Changes made since the last occasion

The most prominent changes from the previous course are:

  • Change of the textbook
  • Introduction of peer-reviewing 


Examination form

The course is examined by means of three modules, namely:

  • Group Exercises 1.5 credits (fail/pass)
  • Group Project 2.0 credits (fail, 3, 4, 5)
  • Home Exam 4.0 credits (fail, 3, 4, 5)
    • Part One - Theory and Analysis
    • Part Two - Design and Reflection


Grade Scale

The grading scale comprises Fail (U), 3, 4 and 5. To receive a passing grade for the whole course, a student must have a passing mark on the exam, the assignments, the project, peer reviews and the literature seminar. The final grade is calculated as the average. 

To pass the course you are obliged to do a minimum of 3 exercises out of 4.


Learning objectives and syllabus

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Knowledge and understanding 
* explain well-known information visualization techniques, including the pros and cons they have with respect to types of data and contexts
* describe how the cognitive and perceptive abilities of humans affect the possibilities of information visualization

Skills and abilities
* create concepts for information visualizations taking into consideration specific data sets, users, technologies, and use context
* develop visualizations from concepts to a functional prototype

Judgement and approach 
* evaluate different interactive visualization techniques to judge their effectiveness and suitability for both generic and specific use
* analyze and provide creative criticism on specific solutions to visualize information


Student Representatives

André Wahlberg <>

Panpan Zhang <>

Santosh "Sunny" Renukuntla <>

Yiqian Wu <>

Yueming Xuan <>


Course Plans

Course description at Chalmers

Course description at the University of Gothenburg

Course summary:

Date Details Due