Matthew Brehmer, Data Visualization Researcher

contact me:

mabrehme at microsoft.com

mattbrehmer at gmail.com

@mattbrehmer

linkedin

google scholar

github

goodreads

soundcloud

microsoft profile

about me

I am a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research in Redmond, USA, where I am a member of the EPIC (Extended Perception, Interaction & Cognition) and Human Computer Interaction groups.

I am an expert in information visualization, a practice that brings together data analysis, software development, user experience research, and design. I currently specialize in tools for expressive visualization design and visualization for mobile devices. My work can be seen and used online and in Power BI. I have spoken about my work at venues such as IEEE VIS, ACM CHI, and OpenVisConf, and I have published papers about my work in IEEE TVCG, the top journal for visualization research.

news


Feb. 2019: I will demo and present a paper about Timeline Storyteller at the 2019 Computation + Journalism Symposium, February 1-2 in Miami, FL.

symposium paper (pre-print) | timelinestoryteller.com

Oct. 2018: Charticulator: Interactive Construction of Bespoke Chart Layouts by Donghao Ren, Bongshin Lee, and myself appeared in the InfoVis track at IEEE VIS 2018, where it received a Best Paper Honorable Mention Award. Charticulator is an open-source interactive chart creation tool that you can use in your browser. Charticulator was also shortlisted for the 2018 Information is Beautiful Awards.

journal paper | charticulator.com | github repository

Oct. 2018: I co-organized the VisInPractice program at IEEE VIS 2018 in Berlin.

visinpractice.org

Apr. 2018: The book Data-Driven Storytelling is now available in print and as an eBook. I contributed to a chapter about measuring the impact of data-driven stories and evaluating tools for creating them.

order book here

expertise


visualization and interface design

I design, develop, and deploy visualization tools and techniques for presenting and analyzing data, typically using technologies such as D3.js or R/Shiny.

examples: Timeline Storyteller, Portfolio Sandbox, SoundConsensus, ShinyFork

quantitative human factors research

I design and conduct experiments as a way to understand human capabilities with respect to perception, attention, and interaction; the findings of these experiments often lead to actionable implications for interface and visualization design.

examples: IEEE VIS 2018, CHI 2012, WorldHaptics 2011

qualitative human factors research

I evaluate existing data analysis and communication processes, work-in-progress designs, and deployed visualization tools by way of work domain analyses, interviews, chauffeured walkthroughs, and field studies.

examples: IEEE VIS 2014, BELIV 2014

application domains


data journalism and storytelling

Journalists, educators, and storytellers require expressive tools for presenting information to their audience. While at Microsoft, I have designed, developed, and promoted the use of such tools in the journalism community with the help of Microsoft's Data Journalism Program.

tools: Timeline Storyteller, TimeLineCurator

My PhD research included case studies of journalists who used the Associated Press' Overview Project to investigate large text document collections. Our findings provided transferable lessons for visualizing document collections and hierarchical data.

more info: IEEE VIS 2014

energy management and conservation

My PhD research included the design and development of visualization prototypes for analyzing and monitoring energy usage in portfolios of commercial buildings. I consulted with various stakeholders and prospective users, envisioning and implementing designs for interactively locating patterns and anomalies.

more info: IEEE VIS 2015, Portfolio Sandbox

health and fitness

My M.Sc research pertained to the design and evaluation of C-TOC, a computerized cognitive assessment tool intended for early detection of dementia. I studied the use of C-TOC prototypes by healthy older adults and by adults with diagnosed mild cognitive impairments.

more info: ADAD 2014, CHI 2012, MSc 2011

Prior to my M.Sc, I worked in the area of exercise video games (aka active games): I studied the role of physical exertion on cognitive task performance. I also developed GAIM, an XNA/C# toolkit which allowed players with different input peripherals to play active games together.

more info: BComp 2009, FuturePlay 2010, ACE 2009

speaking


Visualizing Ranges over Time on Mobile Phones

IEEE VIS 2018, InfoVis Track (Berlin, Germany)
October 24, 2018

video | slides

Tools for Expressive Information Visualization Design

Microsoft Vancouver Data Visualization Symposium (Vancouver, Canada)
August 1, 2018

slides

Data-Driven Storytelling at Microsoft: Introducing Timeline Storyteller and ChartAccent for Microsoft Power BI

UBC School of Journalism Course on Special Topics in Contemporary Journalism: Data Viz (JRNL 520H) (Vancouver, Canada)
October 24, 2017

slides

Timelines Revisited: Considerations for Expressive Storytelling

Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University (Cambridge, USA)
December 8, 2016

slides

Why Visualization? Task Abstraction for Analysis and Design

Dissertation Defence (Vancouver, Canada)
March 23, 2016

slides

Why Visualization? Task Abstraction for Analysis and Design

Microsoft Research (Redmond, USA)
February 1, 2016

video | slides

The Future of Data and Design … In Visualization Research

Vancouver Data Visualization Meetup (Vancouver, Canada)
May 19, 2015

slides | keynote

Visualization Task Abstraction from Multiple Perspectives

IEEE VIS Doctoral Colloquium 2014 (Paris, France)
November 8, 2014

poster | slides | keynote | video preview

A Multi-Level Typology of Abstract Visualization Tasks

IEEE VIS 2013, InfoVis Track (Atlanta, USA)
October 15, 2013

video | video preview | slides | keynote

writing


research publications

Timeline Storyteller: The Design & Deployment of an Interactive Authoring Tool for Expressive Timeline Narratives

Matthew Brehmer, Bongshin Lee, Nathalie Henry Riche, David Tittsworth, Kate Lytvynets, Darren Edge, and Christopher White
To appear in Proceedings of the 2019 Computation + Journalism Symposium.

symposium paper (pre-print)

Visualizing Ranges over Time on Mobile Phones: A Task-Based Crowdsourced Evaluation

Matthew Brehmer, Bongshin Lee, Petra Isenberg, and Eun Kyoung Choe
In Volume 25, Issue 1 (Jan. 2019) of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (IEEE VIS 2018, InfoVis Track).

journal paper (pre-print) | ieee library

Charticulator: Interactive Construction of Bespoke Chart Layouts

Donghao Ren, Bongshin Lee, and Matthew Brehmer
In Volume 25, Issue 1 (Jan. 2019) of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (IEEE VIS 2018, InfoVis Track).
Best Paper Honorable Mention Award

journal paper (pre-print) | ieee library

Reflecting on the Evaluation of Visualization Authoring Systems

Donghao Ren, Bongshin Lee, Matthew Brehmer, and Nathalie Henry Riche
In the workshop proceedings of BELIV 2018: Evaluation and Beyond - Methodological Approaches for Visualization.

pre-print

What's the Difference?: Evaluating Variants of Multi-Series Bar Charts for Visual Comparison Tasks

Arjun Srinivasan, Matthew Brehmer, Bongshin Lee, and Steven Drucker
In the proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI).

conference paper (pre-print) | acm library

Data Visualization on Mobile Devices

Bongshin Lee, Matthew Brehmer, Eun Kyoung Choe, Petra Isenberg, Ricardo Langer, and Raimund Dachselt
Workshop abstract to appear in the extended abstract proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI).

extended abstract (pre-print) | acm library

Evaluating Data-Driven Stories & Storytelling Tools

Fereshteh Amini*, Matthew Brehmer*, Gordon Bolduan, Christina Elmer, and Benjamin Wiederkehr ( * equal contribution )
A chapter in Data-Driven Storytelling, a book edited by Nathalie Henry Riche, Christophe Hurter, Nicholas Diakopoulos, and Sheelagh Carpendale, 2018.

book link | book chapter abstract

Demonstrating the Value of Visualization: Highlights from the 2017 PacificVis Visual Data Storytelling Contest

Matthew Brehmer, Kyungwon Lee, Ivan Viola, Jinwook Seo, and Bongshin Lee.
Poster at the 2017IEEE VIS Conference.

poster | abstract | video preview

Timelines Revisited: A Design Space and Considerations for Expressive Storytelling

Matthew Brehmer, Bongshin Lee, Benjamin Bach, Nathalie Henry Riche, and Tamara Munzner
In Volume 23, Issue 9 (Sept. 2017) of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.

journal paper | ieee library

ChartAccent: Annotation for Data-Driven Storytelling

Donghao Ren, Matthew Brehmer, Bongshin Lee, Tobias Höllerer, and Eun Kyoung Choe
In proceedings of the 2017 IEEE PacificVis Symposium.

conference paper | ieee library

Why Visualization? Task Abstraction for Analysis and Design

Matthew Brehmer
University of British Columbia PhD Dissertation (April, 2016).

dissertation (ubc library)

Matches, Mismatches, and Methods: Multiple-View Workflows for Energy Portfolio Analysis

Matthew Brehmer, Jocelyn Ng, Kevin Tate, and Tamara Munzner
In Volume 22, Issue 1 (Jan. 2016) of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (IEEE VIS 2015, InfoVis Track).

journal paper | ieee library

TimeLineCurator: Interactive Authoring of Visual Timelines from Unstructured Text

Johanna Fulda, Matthew Brehmer, and Tamara Munzner
In Volume 22, Issue 1 (Jan. 2016) of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (VAST 2015).

journal paper | video | video preview | ieee library | timelinecurator.org

C-TOC (Cognitive Testing on Computer): Investigating the Usability and Validity of a Novel Self-administered Cognitive Assessment Tool in Aging and Early Dementia

Claudia Jacova, Joanna McGrenere, Hyunsoo S. Lee, William Wang, Sarah Le Huray, Emily F. Corenblith, Matthew Brehmer, Charlotte Tang, Sherri Hayden, B. Lynn Beattie, and Ging-Yuek R. Hsiung
In Volume 29, Issue 3 (July 2015) of Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders.

journal paper (wolters kluwer health library)

Overview: The Design, Adoption, and Analysis of a Visual Document Mining Tool For Investigative Journalists

Matthew Brehmer, Stephen Ingram, Jonathan Stray, and Tamara Munzner.
In Volume 20, Issue 12 (Dec. 2014) of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (IEEE VIS 2014, InfoVis Track).

journal paper | ieee library

Visualizing Dimensionally-Reduced Data: Interviews with Analysts and a Characterization of Task Sequences

Matthew Brehmer, Michael Sedlmair, Stephen Ingram, and Tamara Munzner
In proceedings of the 2014 ACM BELIV Workshop (Beyond Time and Errors: Novel Evaluation Methods for Visualization).

workshop paper | acm library

Pre-Design Empiricism for Information Visualization: Scenarios, Methods, and Challenges

Matthew Brehmer, Sheelagh Carpendale, Bongshin Lee, and Melanie Tory.
In proceedings of the 2014 ACM BELIV Workshop (Beyond Time and Errors: Novel Evaluation Methods for Visualization).

workshop paper | acm library

A Multi-Level Typology of Abstract Visualization Tasks

Matthew Brehmer and Tamara Munzner
In Volume 19, Issue 12 (Dec. 2013) of IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (IEEE VIS 2013, InfoVis Track).

journal paper | ieee library

Dimensionality Reduction in the Wild: Gaps and Guidance

Michael Sedlmair, Matthew Brehmer, Stephen Ingram, and Tamara Munzner
University of British Columbia Technical Report TR-2012-03 (2012).

technical report

Investigating Interruptions in the Context of Computerised Cognitive Testing for Older Adults

Matthew Brehmer, Joanna McGrenere, Charlotte Tang, and Claudia Jacova
In proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI).

conference paper | acm library

A Tale of Two Studies: Investigating the Impact of Interruptions on Task Performance in Older Adults

Matthew Brehmer, Charlotte Tang, Joanna McGrenere, and Claudia Jacova
In the work-in-progress proceedings of the the 2011 GRAND NCE AGM.

work-in-progress paper

The Haptic Crayola Effect: Exploring the Role of Naming in Learning Haptic Stimuli

Inwook Hwang, Karon MacLean, Matthew Brehmer, Jeff Hendy, Andreas Sotirkopoulos, and Seungmoon Choi
In proceedings of the 2011 IEEE World Haptics Conference.

conference paper | ieee library

Activate Your GAIM: A Toolkit for Input in Active Games

Matthew Brehmer, T.C. Nicholas Graham, and Tadeusz Stach
In proceedings of the 2010 ACM Future Play Conference.

conference paper | acm library | developer guide

Classifying Input for Active Games

Tadeusz Stach, T.C. Nicholas Graham, Matthew Brehmer, and Andreas Hollatz
In proceedings of the 2009 ACM Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (ACE) Conference.

conference paper | acm library

blogging

Why We Explore

matthewbrehmer.net. January 2013.

The Epistemology of Human-Computer Interaction

matthewbrehmer.net. March 2012.

Mapping out my Research Space

matthewbrehmer.net. March 2012.

community service


Conference Session Chair: IEEE PacificVis 2018, Information+ 2018

Reviewer: IEEE InfoVis (2013 - 2016), IEEE VAST (2015), IEEE PacificVis (2017), IEEE TVCG (2015 - 2018), EuroVis (2014 - 2015, 2017 - 2018), ACM CHI (2013 - 2019), ACM TOCHI (2013), Sage Information Visualization Journal (2015 - 2016), ACM SIGGRAPH Asia (2012), GRAND NCE AGM (2012)

Contributor: The Timeline Consortium (A Harvard Univ. / Sloan Foundation project, 2016 - present)

Student Volunteer: ACM CHI Conference (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016)