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 will hold weekly lab meetings in Spring 2017 every Thursday from 3:00pm to 4:00pm in LS 103.

Everyone (even those with little to no visualization background) are welcome to attend, but will be expected to participate. This includes participating in project discussions, presenting and discussing papers, and participating in visualization contests.

Posted December 13, 2016 by Sophie Engle

We will be offering the following courses during the Spring 2017 semester:

  • CS 360 Data Visualization
    Sophie Engle • MWF 2:15pm–3:20pm • LS 307

  • CS 486/686 Special Topics: Human Computer Interaction
    Beste Yuksel • TR 12:45pm–2:30pm • LS 307

As usual, you may also approach any of us to participate in a directed study if you are interested in visualization research.

Posted November 28, 2016 by Sophie Engle

The Department of Computer Science is now hiring for two Assistant Professor positions: a tenure-track position (heavier research load) and a full-time renewable position (heavier teaching load). All CS sub-disciplines will be considered!

The @USFCS department is a diverse and growing community with 10 full-time faculty members, over 200 undergraduate CS majors, and over 50 masters students. While we are growing, the CS department maintains small class sizes with 30 or fewer students, project-based learning, and a high degree of student-teacher interaction. Several faculty members are NSF funded and collaborate with institutions in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Posted October 20, 2016 by Sophie Engle

Our poster "Interactive Exploration of Multidimensional YouTube Data Using the GPLOM Technique" by Seimei Matsusaki, Xi Han, Alark Joshi, and Sophie Engle won the Best Poster Award at the 9th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction (VINCI)!

Check out the poster, the abstract, or the live tool!

Posted September 26, 2016 by Sophie Engle

ACM will kick off their first talk of the ACM speaker series on September 15th at 11:45am in G12. Kan is an expert in the field of exploratory data analysis and the talk is aimed for all computer science students. Please mark your calendars. Pizza will be provided before the talk so come early!


Introduction to Fast Exploratory Data Analysis Experience with R and Visualization


R is arguably the best analytics platform in the world that is open-source with more than 9000 packages and is growing rapidly. But it's hard to start and be productive if you are not programmers. Exploratory ( is a desktop app that provides a simple and easy to use interactive data exploration environment where users can quickly access R's analytic power and visualization to explore various data ranging from files, databases, to NoSQL, and find valuable insights in a reproducible and collaborative way.


Kan Nishida (@KanAugust), co-founder/CEO of Exploratory. Prior to Exploratory, Kan has 20 years of experience in building products and solutions in Big Data, Analytics, BI, and Data Visualization fields, at Oracle.

Posted September 07, 2016 by Sophie Engle

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