Ep11 Jeffrey Heer
In this episode of ACM ByteCast, Rashmi Mohan hosts ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award recipient Jeffrey Heer. Heer is the co-founder of Trifacta, a provider of interactive tools for scalable data transformation, and the Jerre D. Noe Endowed Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where he directs the Interactive Data Lab and conducts research on data visualization, human-computer interaction, and social computing. The visualization tools developed by Heer and his collaborators – Vega(-Lite), D3.js, Protovis, Prefuse – are used by researchers, companies, and data enthusiasts around the world.
In the interview, Heer explains how his longstanding interest in psychology and cognitive science led him to focus on human-computer interaction as a student in computing. He describes the deep satisfaction (and fun) of interdisciplinary research drawing on computer science, statistics, psychology, and design, as well as his passion for building open-source tools that people in the real world can use. He also covers some of the challenges particular to building visualizations in the age of big data, starting a company to commercialize academic research, and his current efforts to promote more comprehensive, robust, and transparent analysis results.