We are very happy to announce our three confirmed keynote speakers. More information regarding the abstract and title will follow here soon. The conference including the keynote talks will take place Wednesday to Thursday, October 17 to 18.


Sheelagh Carpendale, University of Calgary

My Perspective on Immersive Analytics

Abstract: Throughout the ages the word ‘immersed’ has had at least two fundamental meanings. One, a broad psychological meaning referring to the sense of being so full involved in an activity to have become unaware of one’s surroundings. For example, one can be immersed in a book, a game, a sport, etc. Two, it also has a physiological meaning arising from being submerged as in being underwater. In my work, I have focused on the first meaning – looking for ways to leverage technology in a manner helps to induce the sense of immersion that comes from being totally engaged with one’s work. I will discuss my exploration of combining different types of technologies with novel interactions to support interactive data immersion.

Bio: Sheelagh Carpendale is a Full Professor at the University of Calgary where she holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Information Visualization and an NSERC/AITF/SMART Industrial Research Chair in Interactive Technologies. She has many received awards including the E.W.R. NSERC STEACIE (a major national science award), a BAFTA (British equivalent of an Oscar); the Alberta ASTech Award, the Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award, and was featured in Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council – State of the Nation 2012 – report. Dr. Carpendale directs the Innovations in Visualization (InnoVis) research group and initiated the interdisciplinary graduate program, Computational Media Design. She is an internationally renowned leader in both information visualization and large display interaction. Her research focuses on information visualization, interaction design, and qualitative empirical research. By studying how people interact with information both in work and social settings, she works towards designing more natural, accessible and understandable interactive visual representations of data. She combines information visualization, visual analytics and human-computer interaction with innovative new interaction techniques to better support the everyday practices of people who are viewing, representing, and interacting with information.



Nicolas Holliman, Newcastle University

Visualizing Urban IoT Data using Cloud Supercomputing

Abstract: Terapixel images offer an intuitive, accessible way to present information sets to stakeholders, allowing viewers to interactively browse big data across multiple scales. The challenge we address here is how to deliver the supercomputer scale resources needed to compute a realistic terapixel visualization of the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and its environmental data as captured by the Newcastle Urban Observatory IoT sensors. Our solution is a scalable architecture for cloud-based visualization that we can deploy and pay for only as needed. We demonstrate that it is feasible to produce a high quality terapixel visualization using Blender Cycles path tracing in under a day using public IaaS cloud GPU nodes. Once generated the terapixel image supports interactive browsing of the city and its data at a range of sensing scales from the whole city to a single desk in a room, accessible across a wide range of thin client devices.

Bio: Nick Holliman researches the science and engineering of visualization and visual analytics, addressing the fundamental challenges of visualizing big data. His research includes the psychophysics of the human visual system, the creation of novel algorithms for the control of image content to match human abilities and demonstrating how these algorithms work in practice in scalable cloud-based software tools and award-winning 3D visualizations.  He has worked in both industrial and academic environments and is experienced in delivering commercial impact from research outputs. He has led the design of high performance visualization theatres at four different institutions which have been specified to support both individual and team-based decision making. A full list of Professor Holliman’s publications can be found here:



Paul Cairns, University of York

Experiencing immersion and uncertainty in digital games and elsewhere

Abstract: Digital games are an excellent place to better understand user experiences because they are all about the experience. Immersion seems to be a key experience that players seek but it is something of a goal or holistic experience that arises from the complex integration of game elements. However, players also describe the experience of uncertainty.  Uncertainty can be more directly linked to features of the game or search system. I discuss work done with my colleagues, Chris Power and Jo Pugh, on how that experience of uncertainty is also felt in information seeking tasks.  Our work indicates how high uncertainty in games might lead to a loss of immersion and disengagement and this points to a new way to evaluate the experiences that are critical to the successful design of games and also information seeking systems.

Bio: Paul Cairns is a Reader in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at the University of York. His research focuses on the players of digital games and the experiences that they have. He was involved in developing one of the first and most widely used measures of player experience, the Immersive Experience Questionnaire. He also a strong interest in research methods and statistics for HCI and, with Anna Cox, edited the first book on research methods in the field. He has just finished writing a book on modern, robust statistical methods for HCI. When not researching and teaching, he likes crocheting hyperbolic surfaces.