Invited Speakers and Presentation Abstracts

Keynote I: Elizabeth Cherry, Rochester Institute of Technology

    What we can learn about cardiac arrhythmias using high-performance computing

    Substantial experimental evidence links spiral waves of electrical activity in cardiac tissue with serious arrhythmias, which are electrical disruptions of normal heart function and are a major cause of death. After a single spiral wave has formed, a number of different known mechanisms can destabilize it and generate additional spirals that complicate restoration of cardiac function. In this talk, we will explain how mathematical models of cardiac electrical activity can be used in conjunction with three-dimensional cardiac anatomies to study the spatiotemporal dynamics of arrhythmias using high-performance computing. The electrophysiology of cardiac cells and tissue, mathematical modeling approaches, physical principles, numerical methods, and specific high-performance computing issues will be discussed. Results in large two- and three-dimensional cardiac systems obtained from traditional parallel processing to recent GPU-based computing using CUDA and WebGL will be shown.

Keynote II: Christopher Collins, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

    Information Visualization on Humanities Data

    Humanizing Big Data: Enabling Linguistic Insight with Information Visualization

    While linguistic skill is a hallmark of humanity, the increasing volume of linguistic data each of us faces is causing individual and societal problems - 'information overload' is a commonly discussed condition. Big data has enabled new tasks, such as finding the most appropriate information online, engaging in historical study using language data on the level of millions of documents, and tracking trends in sentiment and opinion in real time. These tasks need not cause stress and feelings of overload: the human intellectual capacity is not the problem. Rather, the current technological supports are inappropriate for these tasks. Linguistic information overload is not a new phenomenon: throughout history, the pace of information creation and storage has exceeded the pace of development of management strategies.

    Drawing on a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, my research aims to bring new, richly interactive interfaces to the forefront of information management, in order to keep up with the current challenges of 'big data' and the growing power of linguistic computing algorithms. In this talk I will present the results of several design studies spanning investigations of patterns in millions of real passwords to using visualization to analyze the written history of the court system. Each project aims to bridge what I call the 'linguistic visualization divide' - the practical disconnect between the sophistication of natural language processing and the power of interactive visualization. My research also investigates the role that non-traditional display and input technologies, such as tabletop and multi-touch computing, can play in the analysis of big data. In conclusion, I will present some general challenges and opportunities for the future of text and language visualization on the big data scale.

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