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Syllabus for

Academic year
The course has been discontinued 
CIU186 - Information visualization  
Syllabus adopted 2015-02-12 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPIDE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Computer Science and Engineering, Information Technology

Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0113 Examples class 1,5c Grading: UG   1,5c    
0213 Project 2,0c Grading: UG   2,0c    
0313 Examination 4,0c Grading: TH   4,0c    


Professor  Staffan Björk


CIU185   Information visualization

  Go to Course Homepage


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

To be eligible for the course the student must have a Bachelor degree of 180 credits. Additionally, the course TDA289 Human - computer interaction 7.5 credits, or the equivalent is required. In addition, students need to have successfully completed the course TDA492 Graphical Interfaces 7.5 credits or the equivalent on advanced level.


The course aims to give an understanding in how information can be presented to provide efficient and effective knowledge transfer, as well as how to design interactive systems that allow users to easily adapt these presentations depending on task and context.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

Knowledge and understanding
...explain well-known information visualization techniques, including the pros and cons they have in respect to types of data and contexts
...describe how the cognitive and perceptive abilities of humans affect the possibilities of information visualization

Skills and abilities
...create concepts for information visualizations taking into consideration specific data sets, users, technologies, and use context
...develop visualizations from concepts to functional prototype

Judgement and approach
...evaluate different interactive visualization techniques to judge their effectiveness and suitability for both generic and specific use
...analyze and provide creative criticism on specific solutions to visualize information


The course gives the students the ability to design and develop interactive information visualizations capable of communicating specific information in an efficient manner.

In order to achieve this ability it is vital to have an understanding of the human sensory and cognitive system, and to be able to argue, motivate and criticize information visualizations based on this understanding. Not only actual applications are covered, but also the development of methods to pre-process data and the creation of interfaces so users can personalize the information presentations available so it suits their needs.


The course is structured into three different modules, each consisting of reading material taken from academic research within one area of visualization; assignments, a project and a written exam. Areas covered include specific techniques with information visualization, e.g. data visualization, scientific visualization and virtual reality. The course consists of a series of lectures, assignments, and a project.


See separate literature list.


The course is examined by means of three modules, namely:
- Assignments 1.5 credit (fail/pass)
- Design Project 2.0 credits ((fail, 3, 4, 5)
- Written Exam 4.0 credits (fail, 3, 4, 5)
In case a student fails the written exam, the student will have to retake a new exam. A student who has failed a test twice has the right to change examiners, if it is possible. A written application should be sent to the Department.

The grading scale comprises Fail (U), 3, 4 and 5. To receive a passing grade for the whole course, a student must have a passing mark on the exam, and both the assignments, and the project. To get a 4 or a 5, a student must have a 4 or a 5 on the written exam and on the project.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.