Lecture: Scientific Visualization


  • Lecturer(s):
  • Start: April 7, 2014
  • Dates: Mon. 11:15-12:45, Wed. 11:00-12:30, B-IT Rheinsaal
  • Curriculum: B-IT Master Media Informatics , Bachelor
  • Diploma Area: B



Note: We have moved the Wednesday lecture to 11am-12:30 to avoid overlap with a lecture from the computer science MSc program!

In today's world, ever-increasing amounts of measured, simulated, collected and stored data have turned the ability to make sense of large and complex data into a key qualification. The goal of visualization is to produce visual representations of data. It provides an intuitive, effective, and thus very popular means of quite literally gaining insight into complex phenomena.

This lecture introduces the main concepts and techniques of data visualization. It focuses on visualizing volumetric data from science and medicine, but also covers more abstract data such as networks or graphs, and conveys fundamental knowledge about color, human perception, and graphics programming. Its mixture of theoretical and practical programming exercises will train the ability to find effective solutions for real-world problems based on a clear theoretical foundation.

The topics of this lecture include: Color and perception, rendering 3D volume data (such as medical CT or MRI data), extracting surfaces from volumetric data, visualizing and identifying meaningful structures in vector fields (such as flow fields from computational fluid dynamics) and tensor fields (as they arise in modern neuroimaging), visualizing high-dimensional data, dimensionality reduction, clustering, and uses of machine learning in visualization.

The course takes place in the "Rheinsaal" of the B-IT building, Dahlmannstr. 2 (externHow to get there).


Assignment Sheets

Exercise 1: VisTrails
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 219 KB)
Exercise 2: Volume-Exploration
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 432 KB)
Exercise 3: VTK-Filtering-Interpolation
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 695 KB)
Exercise 4: Isocontours
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 240 KB)
Exercise 5: Color
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 1.3 MB)
Exercise 6: Direct-Volume-Rendering
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 828 KB)
Exercise 7: Characteristic-Curves
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 605 KB)
Exercise 8: Line-Integral-Convolution
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 357 KB)
Exercise 9: Vector-Field-Topology
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 558 KB)
Exercise 10: Tensors-and-Ridges
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 240 KB)
Exercise 11: Trial-Exam
Assignment sheet  (PDF document, 204 KB)

Additional Documents


  • Alexandru C. Telea: Data Visualization - Principles and Practice, AK Peters, 2008 (available at the computer science library)