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The Bohemian Bookshelf - Sheelagh Carpendale


Video Name

The Bohemian Bookshelf - Sheelagh Carpendale


NSERC Communications



Release Date

April 3, 2014


Computer scientist Sheelagh Carpendale is at the forefront of efforts being made to ensure information technology devices serve the people who use them in practical, intuitive ways that support everyday work and socialization. Her work has earned her a 2012 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship from NSERC. An internationally renowned and award-winning leader in information visualization and multi-touch tabletop interaction, Dr. Carpendale currently holds the NSERC/AITF/SMART Industrial Research Chair in Interactive Technologies and the Canada Research Chair in Information Visualization.

The Bohemian Bookshelf - Sheelagh Carpendale

Sheelagh Carpendale

My name is Sheelagh Carpendale, and I work primarily in information visualization but particularly in interactive visualization. What I've been interested in all along is making information accessible. One of the sort of metaphors that I think of in my mind all the time is to be able to actually get your hands in the data.

If you and I had a problem with a lot of information and a lot of data, what would we probably do? We would probably go to a table and spread it out, right? But these days all of our information is going to be on a machine. Interaction, to me, is finding a way that you can do that kind of direct exploration and manipulation yourself in a way that fits comfortably with who you are as a person, how you want to use your hands.

For instance, I'm looking for this particular song and I'm pretty sure it came out in the late 70's. The late 70's doesn't translate very well, but if you had a timeline you could filter your results based on those of them that happened in the late 70's quite easily. So you could incorporate different kinds of ideas about how I might look at things into search but we took that I think quite a bit further with the Bohemian Bookshelf.

Your data in your life is actually also huge data. You can think about it in terms of your own kind of communication data, in terms of your own eco footprint data, in terms of your own health, all of these kinds of things are things that we can actually think about how to actually visualize in a way that could help people as individuals improve their own life. I think it's just like a huge opening area that could actually make a real positive difference.

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