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Course Descriptions

MVIS 5001 Residency 1

One (1) Credit/Three and a half (3.5) days
Residency 1 is an introduction to the program, where students become familiar with the online delivery platform and expectations of the program; and participate in cohort team building opportunities. Students meet with external partners who introduce their company/organization and provide information and data from their industry. The information and data provided is used in classes during the first half of the program as well as in Residency 2. The residency also includes seminars and workshops that introduce students to principles and tools of visualization.

Intensive 1

MVIS 5101 Introduction to Information Visualization

Two (2) Credits/Four (4) weeks
This course focuses on the process of developing compelling narratives using information and data. Students study forms of storytelling, and how techniques such as sequence, relationship, context, and audience can be combined through analysis and design strategies to tell a powerful and compelling visual story. Additional methods such as editing, iterative process, and evaluation are also introduced as methods to refine information and data to strengthen and clarify a visual story.

MVIS 5103 Design Bootcamp

One (1) Credits/Four (4) weeks
The course provides an overview of art and design theories, methods, and applications such as design thinking, color theory, graphic design, constructive critique, and prototyping. Students investigate and apply these theories, methods, and applications to create visualizations that tell a well-designed visual story.

MVIS 5104 Statistics Bootcamp

One (1) Credits/Four (4) weeks
The course provides an overview of probability and statistics concepts commonly used in the visualization process. Students learn concepts such as histograms, statistical measures, sampling, distributions, correlation, regression, and fitting. This course is in preparation for the Statistical Applications for Information Visualization course.

Session 1

MVIS 5201 Visual Cognition and Perception

Two (2) Credits/Eight (8) weeks
The course focuses on the art and science of visual cognition and perception, and how information is visual acquired and processed. By exploring topics such as neuroscience, pattern recognition, spatial relationships, shape, and color, students gain an understanding in ways the mind receives, acquires, processes, and stores information and data.

MVIS 5301 Research and Analysis

Two (2) Credits/Eight (8) weeks
The course introduces students to research methods for gathering and analyzing information and data that are central to creating visualizations. Topics include data mining, data aggregation, grouping methods, data cleaning, and evaluation. By the end of the course, students have several research projects to begin the development of their final thesis project.

Session 2

MVIS 5302 Statistical Applications for Information Visualization

Two (2) Credits/Eight (8) weeks
This course focuses on tools and applications that help establish and/or understand relationships between information and data; and how to begin transforming research into visualizations. Topics include applying statistics to research data; using software to begin the visualization process; making modifications to data sets; and exploring industry-specific information and data analysis.

MVIS 5202 Contexts of Information Visualization

Two (2) Credits/Eight (8) weeks
This course focuses on historical, cultural, social, economic, and political contexts of visualizations and information access. In addition to perspectives and research from the fields of art history, art theory, and studies of visual culture, students explore how visualization has been and is currently being used by a variety of industries to tell compelling narratives in visual formats.

Session 3

MVIS 5601 Information Design

Four (4) Credits/Eight (8) weeks
This course explores the theoretical issues related to the design and presentation of information and data. Students learn design elements related to presenting information including design theory, aesthetics, visual rhetoric and principles of visual communication. Students identify and critique case studies in information design as well as begin to develop an initial plan for their final thesis project.

MVIS 5002 Residency 2

One (1) Credit/Three and a half (3.5) days
During Residency 2, students participate in a group project activity. Prior to arriving, students develop a concept for a group project using the information and data provided by the external partners during Residency 1. The first day of the residency, students present their concept to their cohort, faculty and external partners; and choose 2-3 projects to be completed from proposal concept to product development over the course of the weekend. Based on the number of chosen projects, students will be divided into groups and assigned one or more faculty team members to support and guide the team to project completion. The last day of the residency, groups present their projects and explain the process of creating the project.

Session 4

MVIS 5401 Visual Analytics

Three (3) Credits/Eight (8) weeks
This course builds on the Visual Cognition and Perception course by exploring analytical reasoning using tools and techniques such as mind maps, storyboards, wireframing, tree maps, and prototyping. Topics include organizing, human reasoning, networking, mapping, and presenting information and data to show patterns, networks, and relationships that ultimately communicate a cohesive and compelling story through 2D, interactive, and 3D formats.

Session 5

MVIS 5501 Principles of Visual Interface Design

Three (3) Credits/Eight (8) weeks
This course focuses on the challenges of designing visual interfaces that support access, analysis, and understanding of information and data. Topics include responsive design, skeuomorphism, form vs. function, fidelity, paper prototyping, user testing, and interactive flow. Students explore theories and issues in visual interface design, and be able to identify, develop, and critique different visual interface design solutions.

Session 6

MVIS 5701 Information Visualization Applications

Three (3) Credits/Eight (8) weeks
This course explores the range of applications used by industries to create visualizations. Using the initial project plan created in the Information Design course as well as Residency 2 group projects, students experiment with various formats, such as 2D, interactive, and 3D, to further develop their final thesis project.

Intensive 2

MVIS 5102 Information Visualization Project

Two (2) Credits/Four (4) weeks

In this intensive course, students prepare a final thesis project from concept to a fully-realized product, using research and materials developed over the course of the program. Students work with a faculty advisor who provides guidance and critique for projects as well as provides guidance for the Residency 3 student presentations. For the Residency 3 presentation, students must describe their project process, including concept development, research and development documentation, and design.

MVIS 5003 Residency 3

One (1) Credit/Three and a half (3.5) days
During Residency 3, students present their final thesis project as detailed in the Information Visualization Project course description as well as a portfolio of work from the program that demonstrates an understanding of visualization and an ability to create a variety of thoughtfully-designed and compelling visual narratives.