Participatory Design and the New Data Visualization Lab at the University of Rochester
The University of Rochester is set to open a new data visualization lab with a direct link to the University’s supercomputers. Ithaka S+R provided support in the design phase by collecting information through interviews and workshops and identifying key requirements for the space itself and for the technology to be installed in the space.
The Visualization-Innovation-Science-Technology-Application (VISTA) Collaboratory lab will be used in many ways including research in the sciences, engineering and optics as well as the humanities and social sciences. The leader of the project makes a compelling case for this sort of visualization facility. To quote from the press release: “The best analytical tool we have is still the human brain,” said David Topham, Ph.D. the executive director of the HSCCI and a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. “We can see relationships between data that computers cannot. But in order to do that you have to have the information in front of you so you can see the patterns and connections that matter. In other words, you need to be able to see the forest and the trees simultaneously.”
For more information on the VISTA Collaboratory Lab, please see the press release from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.