A friend wrote asking if I could make it to an event happening this week near DC. I can’t make it, but fortunately he also mentioned as consolation that he has a cool new book on the cusp of release – and I’ve now ordered my copy.
The Friend: legendary visualization and HCI guru Ben Shneiderman (Wikipedia entry). Ben is a computer-science professor at the University of Maryland and the founder of its well-known Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL), as well as an ACM Fellow and AAAS Fellow. He has done government a million favors over the years, consulting for agencies, including his recent work on the Recovery.gov site to help that platform of data – from hundreds of thousands of sources – organize, host, and visualize the data for millions of visitors. I first got to know Ben through his support for better intelligence analysis – he helped invent a longtime intelligence analytics tool, Spotfire (see his article “Dynamic queries, starfield displays, and the path to Spotfire“). Ben’s also well-known for his award-winning 2002 book Leonardo’s Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies, which I enjoyed and still think about when brainstorming new techie toys.
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