Jock D. Mackinlay

Jock D. Mackinlay

Jock D. Mackinlay is an American information visualization expert and Director of Visual Analysis at Tableau Software. With Stuart K. Card, George G. Robertson and others he invented a number of Information Visualization techniques. [ Keynote Panel Information Visualization - Where are We and Where Do We Go From Here?] Proceedings Infovis 1996. Retrieved 6 June 2008.]


Jock Mackinlay was born in Nuremberg, Germany and received his BA in Mathematics and Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 1975 and his PhD in computer science from Stanford University in 1986, where he pioneered the automatic design of graphical presentations of relational information.

In 1976 Mackinlay started working as a Systems Analyst for the Bank of America in San Francisco. In 1977 he became a Systems Analyst at Minimax Research Corporation. From 1979 to 1986 he was Research Assistant at Stanford University. In 1986 he joined Xerox PARC, where he collaborated with the User Interface Research Group to develop many novel applications of computer graphics for information access, coining the term "Information Visualization". Much of the fruits of this research can be seen in his 1999 published book, "Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think", written and edited with Stuart K. Card and Ben Shneiderman. [ Jock D. Mackinlay homepage] . at, 2004. Retrieved 7 July 2008.] He holds numerous patents in user interfaces and visual analysis. He joined Tableau Software in 2004 as Director of Visual Analysis. [ [ Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium. Wednesday, May 03, 2006] . Retrieved 7 July 2008.]

In 2005 Mackinlay wins DMReview's data visualization competition. [ ['s_data_visualization_competition 2005-10-11: Jock D. Mackinlay wins DMReview's data visualization competition] . Retrieved 7 July 2008.]


Automatic generation of graphical presentations

His PhD dissertation [Mackinlay, J. D. (1986). "Automating the Design of Graphical Presentations of Relational Information". in: "ACM Transactions on Graphics", 5(2, April), 110-141.] described the automatic generation of graphical presentations of relational information including bar charts, scatter plots and node/link diagrams using a composition algebra to generate a wide variety of graphical presentations and evaluation criteria to identify effective presentations.

Expressiveness criteria were based on a formal analysis of graphical languages and determined whether a graphical presentation showed exactly the desired information. Effectiveness criteria were based on results from perceptual psychology and identified designs that exploited capabilities of the output medium and human perception. After focusing on familiar 2D static presentations for his dissertation, he joined Xerox PARC where we focused on novel 3D computer graphics and interactive animation.

Human-information interactions

His research in his last years at PARC exploited advances in flat panel displays and graphics cards that enabled personal computers with 6-8 monitors and may also eliminate seams. Progress in information visualization and in our understanding of human-information interactions provides an opportunity to design cognitive workspaces for wideband displays. These could radically improve productivity in many knowledge management tasks – analogous to the improved productivity of a craftsman who has the right tools and a big enough workbench. Seamless wideband displays will be available in the next decade with costs driven down by computer gaming, entertainment, and teleconferencing.

Wideband Visual Interfaces

Although vendors have made multiple-monitor systems for many years, our interfaces have been stuck in a 30-year old windows paradigm focused on displays much smaller than the desktops we use when working with paper. Advances in flat panel displays and graphics cards now enable affordable personal computers with 6-8 monitors and may someday eliminate seams. Mackinlay, J. D., Heer, J. and Royer, C. (2003). [ "Wideband Visual Interfaces: Sensemaking on Multiple Monitors"] . In: "Technical Report".]

In his 2003 paper Mackinlay argues that vendors should be developing wideband visual interfaces that are designed for displays that fill the human visual field. He describes a longitudinal field study of window activity that found that windows almost always filled a typical single monitor display and that subjects occasionally struggled with window thrashing when they needed to work with two or more windows at the same time. Vendors need not wait for affordable seamless wideband displays before addressing these findings. He has implemented several novel user interface techniques for creating seam-aware applications that target wideband displays based on multiple monitors.

See also

* Information visualization reference model
* Prefuse
* Visual analytics


* 1999. "Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think". With Stuart K. Card and Ben Shneiderman. Morgan Kaufmann.

* 1986. "Automating the Design of Graphical Presentations of Relational Information". in: "ACM Transactions on Graphics". 5(2, April), 110-141.
* 1989. "The cognitive coprocessor architecture for interactive user interfaces". With S. K. Card, and George G. Robertson. In: "Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology", pages 10--18. ACM Press, Nov 1989.
* 1991. "Cone Trees: Animated 3D Visualizations of Hierarchical Information". With George G. Robertson and Stuart K. Card. In: Robertson, Scott P., Olson, Gary M. and Olson, Judith S. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 91 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 28 - June 5, 1991, New Orleans, Louisiana. pp. 189-194.
* 1993. "Information Visualization Using 3D Interactive Animation". With Stuart K. Card, and George G. Robertson. In: "Communications of the ACM", 36(4), April 1993. pp. 57-71.
* 1993. "The document lens". With George G. Robertson. In: "Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology". ACM Press, Nov 1993.
* 2000. "Opportunities for Information Visualization". In: "IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications" 20(1).
* 2004. [ "Log-based Longitudinal Study Finds Window Thrashing"] . With C. Royer.


External links

* [ Jock D. Mackinlay] homepage at PARC, 2004.
* [ Jock D. Mackinlay] Introduction at

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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