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: This website is for both, the Harvard college CS 171 course, and the Harvard Extension School CSCI E-171 course! We are still in the process of updating it for the Fall 2018 semester!

Limited enrollment: To provide the best possible learning experience this course has limited enrollment. We only admit 80 college students and 30 Extension school students.
College students: If you are interested in joining this course please fill out a enrollment survey. The enrollment survey will be available after the first lecture (Sept 5th, 5:00pm) until Sunday Sept 9th, midnight. The survey is available on our Canvas page.
HES students: Course enrollment is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Cross-registering college students: To get access to the course’s Canvas page you will have to 1) get an XID here; 2) send an e-mail to staff@cs171.org with the subject ‘Canvas ID’; 3) the e-mail needs to contain your Name, e-mail and XID.

Extension school students: The course will be taught in two sessions per week. Each class will be a combination of instructor presentation and active learning. In an active learning session, students will meet, virtually, in small groups (probably 4 students each) using Web conferencing software to work on problems collaboratively. A member of the course staff will visit each group (virtually) to provide assistance and coaching. Because of the importance of the collaborative, active learning component of the course, students must be available at fixed times (Mo and Th, 7:55-9:55pm). The presentation segment of each class will be videorecorded and streamed during those virtual class times.

Instructor

Hanspeter Pfister (Instructor)

Course Sessions

Lectures & Labs:
Monday and Wednesday 3:00-5:00pm, Location: Pierce 301
HES students: Monday and Thursday 7:55-9:55pm, online video conference.

Office Hours: Office hours are posted here.

Lecture Resources: Discussion forum on Piazza

Materials and grades on Canvas (TBA)

Staff

Teaching Fellows

  • Head TF: Johanna Beyer - Research Associate, Visual Computing Group
  • Extension School TF: Alain Ibrahim - Digital Product Development Manager
  • Michael Behrisch - Postdoctoral Fellow, Visual Computing Group
  • Robert Krueger - Postdoctoral Fellow, Visual Computing Group
  • Nam Wook Kim - PhD Candidate, Visual Computing Group
  • Katherine Harrison
  • TBA

Previous Years

2017 Fall Website

2016 Fall Website

2016 Spring Website

2015 Website 2015 Video Archive

2014 Website 2014 Video Archive

2013 Video Archive

2012 Video Archive