The amount and complexity of information produced in science, engineering, business, and everyday human activity is increasing at staggering rates. The goal of this course is to expose you to visual representation methods and techniques that increase the understanding of complex data. Good visualizations not only present a visual interpretation of data, but do so by improving comprehension, communication, and decision making.

In this course you will learn how the human visual system processes and perceives images, good design practices for visualization, tools for visualization of data from a variety of fields, and programming of interactive web-based visualizations using D3.

The course is offered in the spring term 2015. Classes start on Tuesday, Jan 27. All classes are streamed live and archived online. The course is open to all Harvard undergraduate and graduate students and can be taken through cross-registration from the GSD and MIT.

This course is also offered through the Harvard Extension school (online only) where it is listed as CSCI E-171.


Alexander Lex


Lectures & Design Studios: Tuesday and Thursday 2:30-4 pm, Maxwell Dworkin G115

Sign up for a group here.
Group meeting times and locations are:

Group 1: Mo 02:00-03:30, NW B150
Group 2: Mo 04:00-05:30, NW B150
Group 3: Tu 04:30-06:00, MD 123
Group 4: Tu 05:30-07:00, MD 223
Group 5: We 10:00-11:30, MD 223
Group 6: We 03:30-05:00, NW B150

Office Hours:
Current office hours are posted here.


Please address all questions regarding the class to

Teaching Fellows

Johanna Beyer (Head TF) - Postdoctoral Fellow, Visual Computing Group
David Chouinard - Research Associate, Disney Research
Hendrik Strobelt - Postdoctoral Fellow, Visual Computing Group
Romain Vuillemot - Data Visualization Fellow, Center for International Development
Luciano Arango - A.B. candidate in Computer Science
Samuel Gratzl - PhD Student, Johannes Kepler University
Mohammad K. Hadhrawi - Graduate Student Research Assistant, MIT Media Lab
Daniel Haehn - PhD Student, Visual Computing Group
Alain Ibrahim - Senior Web Developer
Benjy Levin - Computer Science Concentrator
Andrew Mauboussin - Computer Science Concentrator
Kevin Sun - A.B. candidate in Applied Math
James Tompkin - Postdoctoral Fellow, Visual Computing Group
Brandon Tineo - Psychology Concentrator, CS Secondardy Field
Alex Liu - Computer Science Concentrator
Rachel Kassa - Government Concentrator, CS Secondary Field
Jordan Dominguez - Applied Math Concentrator, CS Secondary Field
Monarch Wadia - Software Developer, ALM IT/Software Engineering Concentrator

Mimi Lai

Lecture Resources

We use Piazza for discussions and questions and Canvas for videos, chats and grading.

Live Video (choose CSCI E-171)
Video Archive

2014 Website
2014 Video Archive
2014 Lecture Slides

2013 Video Archive

2012 Video Archive