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“Salient Matters (Visual and Otherwise) at Sandia National Laboratories” – Andy Wilson, Sandia National Labs

November 14, 2017 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am

“Salient Matters (Visual and Otherwise) at Sandia National Laboratories”
Andy Wilson, Sandia National Labs

Abstract: I will talk about two subjects: what it’s like to work at Sandia and recent research into what does and doesn’t catch the eye in data visualization. Here are micro-abstracts for each subject:

1. Sandia is the most amazing place I can imagine working. As a national security laboratory, it touches nearly every science and engineering domain of current concern from renewable energy to nuclear weapon design and non-proliferation. As a science resource within the Department of Energy, Sandia has been called in to serve in high-consqeuence, high-visibility situations such as the aftermath of the anthrax attacks in Washington, D.C. after September 11; the Columbia shuttle disaster; and even bringing down a malfunctioning satellite. The lab is always hiring at its locations in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Livermore, California at levels from undergraduate intern to Ph.D. research staff. I will have a limited number of time slots after my presentation to talk to students about career opportunities. Contact me at atwilso@sandia.gov if you’re interested.

2. Models of visual saliency estimate what will draw the eye about a picture of the real world by relying on what we know about how the early stages of the visual system work. These same models produce nonsensical results on synthetic images such as graphs, charts and infographics. We studied existing models of visual saliency and compared them with what humans actually look at. The result is an improved saliency model that better predicts what elements a viewer will find relevant and takes steps toward integrating the influence of top-down thinking.

Bio: Andy Wilson is a principal member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since his first research group meeting as a brand new graduate student in Sitterson Hall he has been orbiting issues arising from large data analysis, starting with data curation and ending with visual analysis, with excursions into cybersecurity, information visualization, graph analysis, trajectory clustering, topic modeling and system architectures for data-intensive computing.


November 14, 2017
10:30 am - 11:30 am
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