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, methods for visualization of data from a variety of fields, and programming of interactive web-based visualizations using D3.

Attention: CS 171 has moved to the fall semester, and from now on will be taught in the fall semester only!

Limited enrollment: To provide the best possible learning experience this course is limited to 60 students. If you are interestedin joining this course please fill out a enrollment survey as soon as possible, it will be available after the first lecture on September 1st. The survey is available on our Canvas page and must be submitted until midnight, Tu September 6th.


Hanspeter Pfister

Course Sessions

Lectures & Labs: Tuesday and Thursday 2:30-4 pm, Location: Pierce 301

Studio times and locations will be posted here. Please sign up on Canvas by Friday, September 9, 2016..

Office Hours:
Office hours are posted here.

Lecture Resources:
Discussion forum on Piazza

Materials and grades on Canvas


Teaching Fellows

Johanna Beyer (Head TF) - Postdoctoral Fellow, Visual Computing Group
Hendrik Strobelt - Postdoctoral Fellow, Visual Computing Group
Zona Kostic - Postdoctoral Researcher, Web-based Interactive Visualization and Virtual Reality
Mirhee Kim - Molecular Cellular Biology (MCB) Concentrator
Maria Lovett - Computer Science Concentrator


Alain Ibrahim - Digital Product Development Manager who enjoys diving into both the functional and artistic dimensions of digital media
Ronell Sicat - Postdoctoral Fellow, Visual Computing Group
Dion Hagan - Statistics Concentrator
Maria Lai - Computer Science and Neurobiology Concentrator

Previous Years

2016 Spring Website

2015 Website
2015 Video Archive

2014 Website
2014 Video Archive

2013 Video Archive

2012 Video Archive