Dissertation Proposal Defense - Alex Kale
You are cordially invited to join us for the dissertation proposal defense of Alex Kale, to be held on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 via Zoom from 9-11 a.m. PT.
Title: Cognitive Mechanisms for Reasoning with Uncertainty Visualizations
The joint proliferation of data-driven interfaces in public life and data science in organizations makes reasoning with uncertainty in data visualizations critically important. Lay people and data analysts alike make visual judgments about data almost daily---whether relying on a deluge of covid-19 visualizations to manage risks to personal and public health, or using exploratory data analysis to drive business decisions. In order to design data visualization software that supports statistically rigorous judgments in these contexts, the visualization community must understand how people reason with uncertainty visualizations. My dissertation addresses cognitive mechanisms that chart users rely on when reasoning with uncertainty: (1) automatic perceptual processing, through which the visual system makes intuitive inferences; (2) heuristic strategies, used to interpret visualizations and make consequential decisions; and (3) model-based thinking, whereby analysts compare observed patterns in data with counterfactual predictions from models (either mental or realized in software) that might explain the data. As a capstone to my thesis, I propose to prototype and evaluate a system for visual data analysis that deploys these cognitive mechanisms to support more rigorous exploratory data analysis. The system will primarily test the design hypothesis that enabling analysts to express models and check them against data will facilitate more insights about data generating process. It will deploy automatic and heuristic cognitive mechanisms to highlight important discrepancies between data and model predictions, providing a proof-of-concept for new ways of designing visualization software.
Click below for Zoom link to attend:
- Jessica Hullman, Chair
- Amy Ko, Chair
- Katharina Reinecke, GSR
- Jeffery Heer, Member
- Jevin West, Member