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Seminar: Visualization for Biology

Seminar Presentation

Miriah Meyer, Ph.D.

Location: HSEB 4100B
Date: Apr. 12, 2012
Time: 4:15 pm


Visualization tools are essential for deriving meaning from the avalanche of data we are generating today. To facilitate an understanding of the complex relationships embedded in this data, visualization research leverages the power of the human perceptual and cognitive systems, encoding meaning through images and enabling exploration through human-computer interactions. My research lives at the intersection of visualization and biology where I design interactive visualization tools to help biologists make sense of complex, heterogeneous data. I work closely with my biology collaborators and create rapid prototypes, which allows me to match my rate of development to their rate of experimentation. The resulting visualization tools support, engage, and influence my collaborators as they tackle complex questions. In this talk I'll describe a user-centered, methodological approach to designing and developing visualization tools for biological data and present several successful visualization projects in the areas of genomics and systems biology.


Miriah is a USTAR assistant professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah and a faculty member in the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute. Her research focuses on the design of visualization systems for helping scientists make sense of heterogeneous data. She obtained her bachelors degree in astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University, and earned a PhD in computer science from the University of Utah. Prior to joining the faculty at Utah Miriah was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University and a visiting scientist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

In 2011 Miriah was named to the TR35, a list compiled by MIT Technology Review recognizing 35 innovators under 35. She is a recipient of a 2009 and 2010 NSF/CRA Computing Innovation Fellow award, as well as a 2006 AAAS Mass Media Fellowship that landed her a stint as a science writer for the Chicago Tribune. Miriah is on the organizing committees for the IEEE Symposium on Biological Data Visualization and the Eurographics/IEEE EuroVis Conference.