Baumann defends PhD dissertation on Weave web-based visualization framework

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Alexander Baumann, a doctoral student in UMass Lowellís Computer Science department and researcher at the Institute for Visualization and Perception Research (IVPR), successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on May 9, 2011. Dr. Baumannís research and thesis, entitled ďThe Design and Implementation of Weave: a Session State Driven, Web-Based Visualization Framework,Ē was advised by Prof. Georges Grinstein of the Computer Science department.

Baumannís research focused on the design and development of Weave, a web-based data visualization framework that is now available under an open source license. Dr. Baumann oversaw the development of this software package from its original design to the current implementation with his research on a novel windowing environment for web-based data visualization that allows transitions between many types of user interactions and layouts.

Baumannís work was funded by the Open Indicators Consortium (OIC), which was founded to both develop this platform and offer a community of learning for not-for-profits and government agencies who deal with indicator data, or custom measures that track progress towards a goal or quality of an entity. The agile development process was used to provide the members with regular releases and use their feedback to drive feature design and evolution.

Dr. Baumann extended many of the concepts of the earlier desktop-based Universal Visualization Platform in whose development he participated. He led the team in its first Weave designs, and through the feedback from the OIC, extended that design to provide a more flexible and customizable framework for web-based data visualizations. The new design supports dynamic customizable layouts, visualizations targeted to different levels of users, and exploratory data visualization, all within a novel windowing environment.

Prof. Grinstein noted that there are already many users of the software ranging from small communities to cities such as Boston, Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta, to states such as Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut, with many more anticipated users.

Dr. Baumann has accepted a position as Software Product Developer at Knome, a genome sequencing platform company in Cambridge, MA founded in 2007 by Harvard Geneticist George Church. KNome has just received $5 million of an expected $20 million equity round of funding.

Dr. Baumannís dissertation committee readers were Dr. William Mass (Economic and Social Development of Regions) and Dr. Haim Levkowitz (Computer Science). Baumann's thesis document is archived on ProQuest.

weave-minimizing.png
The novel windowing environment within Weave. The image at the top left shows a single map tool with quality of life index data for each country within a movable, resizable, customizable window. At the bottom of this image is the minimized tool area that windows are moved to when minimized using an animated transition. When this area is hovered over with a mouse, the size of it increases to show screenshots of the minimized tools, and the name of the window is shown in a tooltip. Clicking on a tool restores it to its original layout. The windowing environment allows defining static layouts such as the Lowell foreclosure example: tools can be resized, positioned and customized and then turned to a static view that removes all windowing controls and fixes their position and sizes.

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This page contains a single entry by Martin, Fred published on August 3, 2011 10:25 PM.

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