Assignment 3 is a short essay on the topic of your choice.

Due: March 26

This should be based on a critical review or two or more high quality papers from the data visualization research literature. It can be related to your class project.

It is important that you consider the visualization task(s) in your critique.

The best review papers are the result of a constructive synthesis. They tell a story and draw a conclusion. One way of obtaining a critical perspective on a published work is to look at the assumptions the authors are making, and the claims they are making. Then judge for yourself whether or not these are warranted. Look at the goals of the research and determine for yourself the extent to which they are attained. Are the claims for the results overly general? Does the study actually address the problem that was set out in the introduction? It is also useful to compare two different approaches to the same problem. Since this course is about visualization, you should consider the effectiveness of the visualization technique described in your chosen topic.


The topic can be anything in the field of information or data visualization. But whatever the topic your focus should be on the effectiveness of the visualization, not on the the algorithms used (although these can be discussed so far as they are relevant to effectiveness). Optionally, the topic can be the same as your project. In this case, with minor alterations this paper will form the main part of the introduction to your course project.


Sources (Wherever possible you should attempt to use high quality sources such as the following).

Google Scholar is a good way to find sources.

About 1500 words (+/- 200 wd)

Marks based on

You may wish to use Connors Writing Center to discuss a draft of your paper.

Here are some more of the ingredients of a critical essay in this field.

Even a small amount of plagiarism will result in an automatic zero for the assignment. Substantial plagiarism will result in a zero for the course and academic sanctions.


In-class 20 minute talk about your topic.

This can either be about the subject of your essay - or your project - or both.

In any case, you should devote the final five minutes of your talk to what you have done for your project and what you plan to do.
The use of Powerpoint is recommended

No more than 8 points per slide - try to use visual examples as much as possible

One slide every 2 minutes