Information Representation 1: Introduction

A seminar offered in Spring 2013 at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Instructors: Vlad Atanasiu, Denis Lalanne

What is this about

We will look at how representation can be used to explore, analyze and communicate scientific knowledge; what is special about scientific representations; and why it is scientifically and socially necessary to develop a critical awareness of representations. A panorama of representations will help discuss its nature at the crossroads of science, art, cognition and culture. Representation techniques and tools are presented and used, while experiments centered on key topics introduce the participants to the practical aspects of producing representations.

The seminar also investigates through a hands-on approach how the information produced by scientists can be represented by other means than words and numbers. While visualization is the premier representation method, we show that other examples are equally effective, such as data sonification, physical objects or oral presentations.


During the semester you will create a representation of a given topic in the format of your choosing (a visualization you programmed, you draw by hand, a 3D object, a auditory representation, etc.). The representation is presented at the end of the semester orally and in writing (authored in LaTeX? following ACM Strict format). You will read a book and convince your fellow colleagues to read it.

In class we start with the book presentations (c. 30 min.), proceed with a theoretical introduction to a specific subject (c. 25 min.), and end with hands-on exercises (c. 60 min.).

For details see the seminar schedule and the reading list.

What you get

  • basic theoretical and practical know-how for on information representations
  • develop critical awareness towards representations
  • experience the importance of communicating your work and adapt to various audiences
  • a representation object you created that you can show others

The seminar is credited 5ECTS.



Workload & Grading

  • 30% oral presentations of selected readings, performed during the semester
  • 70% project (50% project object, 40% object written description, 10% oral presentation), delivered at the semester's end

For whom

Master students in computer science in the BeNeFri university network.

When & Where

Bi-weekly, starting with Tuesday 10 January 2013, between 14:00-16:00, in room S212, Perolles2, Bd de Pérolles 90, 1700 Fribourg.

Register now!

The seminar is limited to 8 participants - first come, first served. To register please send an email to VladAtanasiu and DenisLalanne.

What former students said

"Really liked how you explained concepts by showing visual examples... Very open to feedback + our comments - thank you!" - Morgan

"I liked the broad context: references to art, history, culture, language: very fascinating" - Stefan

-- VladAtanasiu - 26 Oct 2012 · r9 · 23 Sep 2013 · 19:34:06 · VladAtanasiu
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