Catherine Plaisant

 

Catherine photo 2017 croped

Other pictures

 

Contact information

Email: plaisant@cs.umd.edu

Tel: +1 (301) 405-2768

Surface mail address: 2117C Hornbake South Wing, 4130 Campus Dr. University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, U.S.A.

Coming to visit? see directions to HCIL


Publications

See Resume
or you can also look for early online versions of the papers by searching for “plaisant” in the HCIL Tech Report database


Books

book cover showing people using computers and mobile devices

6th Edition (2016)
Publisher website

and our website

Book cover

Inspired EHRs: Designing for Clinicians (2014)
by Belden, Patel, Lowrance, Plaisant et al.
(eBook)


Journal Special Issues

State of the Field and New Research Directions, Information Visualization, 10(4), 2011. Guest Editors: Catherine Plaisant, Andreas Kerren, Stasko

Evaluation of Visual Analytics, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications (May/June 2009).
Guest Editors: Catherine Plaisant, Jean Scholtz and Georges Grinstein

Special Issue in Honor of Ben Shneiderman’s 60th Birthday: Reflections on Human-Computer Interaction,
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 23, 3 (2007),
Guest Editors: Catherine Plaisant, Chris North


Videos

Editor of the HCIL Video Report Series (1991-2006).

Some (including the 2000 retrospective) are also available in the Open Video Project (a pioneer of video digital libraries).

Later videos are included in the project pages.

Catherine Plaisant is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and Associate Director of Research of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Catherine Plaisant earned a Doctorat d’Ingénieur degree in France (similar to a Industrial Engineering PhD). In 1988 she joined the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory where she has been working with multidisciplinary teams on designing and evaluating new interface technologies that are useful and usable.

Catherine Plaisant has over 160 published papers, on subjects as diverse as information visualization, medical informatics, universal access, decision making, digital humanities or technology for families. Her work spans the interface development lifecycle, with contributions to requirements gathering, interface design, and evaluation. In 2015 she was elected to the ACM SIGCHI Academy (recognizing principal leaders in the field of Human-Computer Interaction).

With long term collaborator Ben Shneiderman she co-authored the 4th, 5th and 6th Editions of Designing the User Interface, one of the major books on Human-Computer Interaction.

Need (a lot) more? Resume (26 pages) or abbreviated version (7 pages)

Current Projects

PeerFinder explores the challenge of finding people like you, i.e. finding records similar to a seed record, based on record attributes AND event history.  We know that users do not trust the advice of blackbox algorithms for important decision making… so we hypothesize that transparency and user control will increase the trust in recommendations based on the data of similar people.

peopleplaymobil

EventAction introduces prescriptive analytics for temporal event sequences.  The idea is to help users make plans based on data from similar people who achieve the desired outcome.

eventactionthumb


Visualization of transportation data: I now help the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology design or redesign the user interface of products for transportation managers and analysts. See the CATT lab portfolio (and also this older related HCIL transportation project)


CoCo (short for COhort COmparison) helps analysts compare two groups of records such as patients records or student records to find differences in the event sequences found in the groups.


EventFlow for event analytics is now used by many researchers. EventFlow allows them to 1) search for specific patterns of events 2) see an overview of all sequences and 3) simplify the data to reveal useful patterns.

Precursor projects were:
LifeFlowLifeLines2, Patternfinder  and Patternfinder in Azyxxi

 


Past Projects

Twinlist: explored how visual layout and animation can help clinicians see similarities in drug lists and rapidly make decisions about which drugs to keep and which one to discontinue.

Related project: SHARP-C: Novel user interfaces for clinicians


Treeversity visualizes changes over time of dynamic hierarchical data. Users can analyze relative and absolute change over a variable in each node, as well as created and removed nodes. They can also compare non inherently hierarchical datasets, by grouping them by attributes.


Community Analysis and Visualization for “Nation of Neighbors”: This project looked at social network analysis for local communities.

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FeatureLens: we worked with literary scholars to and combined visualization and text mining  to explore patterns of repetitions in text collections. This was part of the larger MONK project.


Visual Analytics Evaluation : The SEMVAST project helped develop benchmarks datasets and metrics for evaluation. I co-chaired the 1st IEEE Visual Analytics Challenge for several years starting with the 1st Challenge in 2006, and still try to maintain the Visual Analytics Benchmark Repository. 

VAST challenge


iSonic : making georeferenced data accessible to users with visual impairments
Highly coordinated table view and map view of Maryland counties


Dynamic Queries, and Query Preview (an ancestor of faceted search)

LifeLines for Visualizing Medical Patient Records (and other personal histories)

 

Touchscreen Toggles (ON/OFF selection)
(see HCIL touchscreen research summary)
Made popular by the Apple vs Samsung “slide to unlock” patent war.

Networks

TreePlus
NetLens
Manynets

Trees and hierarchies

Treemap 4
SpaceTree
Treeversity

Others

TimeSearcher for exploration of time series.

GOVSTAT: integration of Data and Interfaces to Enhance Human Understanding of Government Statistics:

Interliving: New Technologies for Families

A story telling robot for children in rehabilitation.

PhotoFinder: Personal Photo Libraries

Excentric Labeling for Information Visualization

User interfaces for highway traffic management

Learning Histories

User Interfaces for the Library of Congress National Digital Library

User Interfaces for the Visible Human Project

(1992-93) Cancer Atlas: Dynamic Queries on a choropleth map [6:43 on the video]

High precision touchscreens, Information Kiosks, Home Automation (Summary)

Hypertext research (my first project at HCIL in 1987!)

Role Management as a guiding concept for the next generation of user interfaces

User interfaces for Youth Services Information Systems

Network Management

See MORE DETAILS of OLDER PROJECTS

News

Feb. 2017: I received an INRIA Visiting Professor grant to spend the months of June and July 2017 working with Jean-Daniel Fekete and his colleagues in Paris. Also looking forward to living in France again, and spending weekends visiting friends and family.

May 2016: As part of the HCIL Symposium we organized a workshop on Temporal Event Sequence Analysis + EventFlow and CoCo user group meeting. Join us on May 26!


Feb 2016:
Early work on touchscreen heavily cited in legal documents leading to invalidation of Apple “Slide to unlock” patent (see Ars Technica story)


Spring 2016:
 
the 6th edition of Designing the User Interface should be in  bookstores near you in April/May 2016.


Fall 2015:
Happy to be included in Ben Shneiderman’s “Encounters with HCI pioneers: a personal photo journal”.


6/2015
: Story on our Twinlist prototype for medication reconciliation appears in User Experience, the Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association.

 

12/2014: I was elected to the SIGCHI Academy, an ACM award. Thank you to all students and colleagues who made it possible, in particular Ben Shneiderman, my close partner for 28+ years.

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