The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
Ms Luana Micallef
PhD Project Summary
I am developing new techniques to generate and lay out Euler and Venn diagrams.
I am also investigating the applicability of such diagrams to aid data analysis and decision making in areas such as health, biosciences, business and criminology.
I adopted a force-directed approach to lay out Euler diagrams and I presented a poster at the IEEE WisWeek 2009 conference (extended abstract, poster).
I am exploring the use of various shapes and optimization techniques to generate and draw area-proportional Euler and Venn diagrams. I am also interested in formally identifying region areas that can and cannot be drawn with such diagrams.
In particular, I am focusing on the use of ellipses to draw the curves of the diagrams and to represent the required region areas. Together with Dr. Peter Rodgers, I have developed eulerAPE: the first automatic area-proportional Euler diagram drawing tool that uses ellipses (available here). This version is currently restricted to three curves, but later, it will be extended to handle more curves. eulerAPE has been selected for participation in the ACM Student Research Competition at the Grace Hopper Celebration 2012 (poster).
I am interested in identifying a number of aesthetic layout criteria that make Euler diagrams easier to comprehend and to reason about. I would also like to understand how humans perceive such visualizations.
I am being supervised by Dr. Peter Rodgers and my work is
partly related to the research project Visualization with Euler Diagrams. I am also collaborating with other experts, including: graphic and information designer
Angela Morelli and, mathematician
Dr. Gem Stapleton from University of Brighton who contributed in defining some underlying theory for
automated Euler diagram drawing techniques.
In 2011, I was awarded a four-month internship with the AVIZ team at INRIA Saclay Île-de-France and together with Prof. Jean-Daniel Fekete and Dr. Pierre Dragicevic, I investigated the use and benefits of Euler diagrams to reason about probabilistic and uncertain data in areas such as Bayesian reasoning. This work was presented at the IEEE VisWeek 2012 conference and received an Honorable Mention Award (paper, presentation, fast forward). Details about the study are available here.
To automatically and accurately generate the diagrams for this study, I developed eulerGlyphs: the first automatic diagram drawing tool that draws Euler diagrams, glyph representations and hybrid visualizations combining both Euler diagrams and glyphs (available here).
In this video,
one of the hybrid visualizations generated using eulerGlyphs is used to intuitively explain a classic Bayesian problem about breast cancer and mammography, which even doctors get wrong
(in a particular study, 95% were wrong).
I am a member of the following research groups:
- Euler Diagram Drawing and Aesthetics
- Information Visualization
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Visual Design
- Visual Analytics
- Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
- Reasoning with Diagrams
- Multi-Touch and Surface Computing
- Embedded Domain Specific Languages
- Functional Programming
- Formal Methods
- Computer-Assisted Learning
- Technology for Developing Markets
Fast Forward Chair of IEEE VIS 2013
with Fanny Chevalier
General Chair of Euler Diagrams 2012
with Peter Chapman
In the past years, I was an assistant lecturer for the following modules:
- CO321: Introduction to Information Systems (2009/2010)
- CO322: Foundations of Computing I (2011/2012, 2010/2011, 2009/2010)
- CO325: Foundations of Computing II (2011/2012, 2010/2011, 2009/2010)
In 2012, I was awarded a National Security Agency (NSA) Scholarship (over 1,000 applicants) to attend and present my PhD work at the
2012 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Baltimore, MD, USA.
I was selected to participate in the ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) at the
2012 Grace Hopper Celebration with my software eulerAPE and
I was awarded an ACM SRC Travel Award (acceptance rate: 13.32%).
[ GHC Scholarships 2012 ]
In 2012, I was awarded The Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust Grant covering the tuition fees for the final year of my Ph.D.
In April 2011, I was selected as a finalist for the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship: Europe, the Middle East and Africa and I was invited to attend the EMEA Scholars' Retreat 2011 at Google Zurich.This aims to reward women’s achievements in computer science. [ Full List of Scholars and Finalists | Announcement on the Official Google Blog | Announcement on the Google Student Blog | EMEA Scholars' Retreat 2011 Video ]
In 2011, I was awarded a four-month internship at AVIZ, INRIA Saclay Île-de-France to investigate the use and benefits of Euler diagrams to reason about probabilistic and uncertain data in areas such as Bayesian reasoning. Our paper, Assessing the Effect of Visualizations on Bayesian Reasoning through Crowdsourcing, received an Honorable Mention Award at the IEEE VisWeek 2012 conference. [ Paper | Video | Presentation | Fast Forward | Study webpage | eulerGlyphs ]
In December 2008, I was awarded a First Class Honours degree for my four-year Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (Honours) course (Computer Science as the main area of study) at the University of Malta, and a Faculty of ICT Dean's Award for Excellence in ICT. For my final year project, I designed and embedded a domain specific language in Haskell to model, transform and quality assure business processes in business-driven development. In particular, this language captures the domain semantics of IBM's WebSphere Business Modeler Advanced. [ Technical Report | Paper | Poster ]
In 2007, my friends and I made it to the finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup in South Korea, with our project KIKI (Key to the Integration of Knowledge and Innovation). Since the theme for 2007 was 'Imagine a world where technology enables a better education for all', we developed a platform to deploy educational software through an extensible architecture which provides inherent support for Windows MultiPoint functionality, inter-computer communication, user identification and progress tracking.
[ Paper | Our official team website | Video at the Finals ]
Following our participation in Microsoft Imagine Cup 2007, our team was awarded a four-month internship in summer 2008 at Microsoft Research India (MSRI), for the best use of Microsoft's new technology, Windows MultiPoint. We joined the Technology for Emerging Markets Group and as part of the Education Research Group, we were involved in a number of projects in relation to education in developing regions. We worked in collaboration with a number of rural schools and non-governmental organizations in the region, and we implemented software prototypes and conducted field trails, pilot projects and empirical studies to evaluate the impact of digital technology in the classroom on learning outcomes. [ Paper | MSRI project web page | MSRI new software release | US Patent ]
In summer 2007, I was chosen to participate in the CERN Summer Student Programme 2007. I worked with the SPI group in the PH-SFT department and during my two-month studentship, I designed and implemented the SPI installation manager to uniformly install software packages developed by the LCG/AA (LHC Computing GRID/Applications Area) on different WLCG (Worldwide LHC Computing Grid) machines that are using and analysing data generated by the LHC experiments.