Welcome to Visualization and Graphics Lab (VGL) at the University of San Francisco!

We are a group of faculty and students that meet regularly to discuss and work on research in the data visualization and graphics fields. Learn more about us, our latest news, papers, current projects, relevant courses, and upcoming events.

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Students, interested in data visualization research? We sponsor directed studies for both undergraduate and graduate computer science students. However, we ask that you are willing to make a 2 semester commitment. If you are interested, please contact us for details.

Latest News

We posted the recording for Miriam Posner's talk "Data Trouble: Why Humanists Have Problems with Datavis, and Why Anyone Should Care" from our Data Visualization Speaker Series event on March 21, 2016.
Posted April 19, 2016 by Sophie Engle

We are thrilled to bring back the Data Visualization Speaker Series for Spring 2016! We have two fantastic speakers for this semester:

Feb 24, 2016

Alan McConchie
Visualizing the Past, Building Tools for the Future: Designing an Interactive Atlas of American History

Mar 21, 2016

Miriam Posner
Data Trouble: Why Humanists Have Problems with Datavis, and Why Anyone Should Care?

See each event page for more details, including how to RSVP!

Posted February 07, 2016 by Sophie Engle

Happy New Year!

We will hold our weekly lab meetings every Friday from 11:45am – 12:45pm in room LS 307 for Spring 2016. Our first meeting will be January 29, 2016.

All students interested in visualization are welcome to attend these meetings!

Posted January 04, 2016 by Sophie Engle

The Visualization and Graphics Lab is looking to hire one research assistant for the Spring 2016 semester.


The duties for the research assistant will be as follows:

  • Implementing various static (non-animated) techniques for overplotting for scatterplot matrices using the P5 JavaScript library. This will involve researching related work and implementing several different techniques (opacity, hexbinning, density plots, and contour plots).
  • Assisting with the design of user studies to evaluate the efficiency and accuracy of specific visualization tasks.
  • Assisting with one-on-one expert user studies.
  • Assisting with writeups of user study results in preparation for publication.

Students should expect to work a minimum of 10 hours per week. If the research is successful, students will be invited to be a co-author on related publications.


Current undergraduate (or graduate) students may apply for the position, but must already be proficient in object-oriented programming. Most undergraduate CS majors, CS minors, and computational Data Science majors that have passed both CS 212 and CS 245, or graduates that have passed CS 601 will qualify, but others can apply too.

Strong applicants will also have some familiarity with data visualization. This includes students that take visualization-focused sections of CS 384/694 Research Seminar, CS 398/498/698 Directed Reading and Research, and CS 386/686 Special Topics in CS. It also includes students that take CS 360 Data Visualization. We are looking for students who are willing to learn Processing and p5 and who would ideally have created basic data visualizations (bar charts, scatterplots, etc.) in Processing/p5 before they begin the research assistant position.

Applicants should also be interested in continuing the research project beyond a single semester, either in a paid position or as a directed study opportunity. Applicants must be detail-oriented self-motivated independent workers with excellent written and oral communication skills.


Please send your resume by January 19th in PDF form to to be considered for the position.

Posted December 15, 2015 by Sophie Engle

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