Chris Culy: Courses: Winter 2013: Hauptseminar: Scientific Visualization of Language Data


Sprechstunden: Mon 11:30-12:30, Tue 4-5, or by special appointment

Tel. 07071/297 3966

Time: T, Th 10:00-12:00      Room: Seminarraum 1.13

First day of class is Tuesday, 22 October


Linguists and language professionals increasingly deal with large amounts of data, trying to analyze and understand that data. Over the past 30 years the fields of Information Visualization and Visual Analytics have developed to help analysts cope with increasing amounts of information and exploit the increasing capabilities of computers. The key aspect of these fields is that they exploit the pattern recognition capabilities of the human visual system to enable and enhance the analysis of data, since a large part of analysis is finding patterns.

More recently, the techniques from Information Visualization and Visual Analytics have started to be applied to language and linguistic data. This course will provide an introduction to this emerging area, starting with principles of scientific visualization and their connections with cognitive science, and continuing with specific techniques of advanced visualizations, as well as showing examples of visualizations of linguistic data. In the required project, students will develop their own advanced visualization of some type of linguistic data.

General Requirements (tentative)

Final project with written report DUE by 5:00 p.m. 24 February 2014
Project Requirements
Class participation and presentations 50%

Special Dates



  • Why visualization?
  • What makes language/linguistic data special?
  • Where is the research?
  • What are the applications?
  • What is person oriented correspondence?

Cognitive foundations

  • Human visual system
  • Color perception
  • "Togetherness": Gestalt

Visual variables: Theory and Practice


  • Pipeline theory
  • General types
  • For language and linguistic info
  • For correspondence

Visualizations and Interaction



Overview of Javascript

  • Basic syntax
  • Aspects of functional programming
  • HTML DOM and GUI elements
  • Drawing: SVG and Canvas
Exercise: Concordance view

Some libraries

Some data tools

Exercise: Revise concordance

Some visualization tools

Exercise: Revise concordance


Exercise: Revise concordance (?)

Class notes


Other assignments