Course at EMBL-EBI

Data visualisation for biology: A practical workshop on design, techniques and tools

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As biological datasets increase in size and complexity, we are moving more and more from an hypothesis-driven research paradigm to a data-driven one. As a result, exploration of that data has become even more crucial than in the past.

In this 5-day workshop, we will dive into the topic of biological data visualization and how it can be used to gain insight in and get a "feel" for a dataset, so that targeted analyses can be defined. We will start by covering theoretical questions like: What is data visualization? How do we perceive images? How can we visualise data in the best possible way? As the workshop continues, it will become more and more hands-on and interactive. In the workshop, we will focus on omics (e.g. genomics, transcriptomics) data rather than e.g. imaging data.

Who is this course for?

This course is targeted at biologists who want to explore, and gain further insight, into their own data through the use of visualisation and design approaches. Some prior experience in programming would be beneficial, but pre-reading and exercises will be sent out to all successful applicants prior to the start of the course. Example datasets will be provided which include:

  • gene-gene interaction data
  • gene-disorder links
  • phylogeny of transcription factors
  • ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq

What will I learn?

Learning outcomes

After this course you should be able to:

  • Explore theories of perception and cognition
  • Identify frameworks to comprehend data visualisation
  • Understand the concepts of visual design process
  • Implement visualisations with specific tools (D3)
Course content

During this course you will learn about:

  • Textbook (included): "Making data visual" (D Fisher & M Meyer)
  • Recommended Textbook: "Visualization analysis and design" (T Munzner)

Trainers

Jan Aerts
University of Hasselt, Belgium
Nikiforos Karamanis
EMBL-EBI, UK
Ryo Sakai
GSK, UK
Adam Frost
EMBL-EBI, UK

Programme

Day 1 – Monday 11 March 2019
09:00-10:00 Arrival and registration   
10:00 - 10:30 Welcome and introduction Vera Matser
10:30 - 12:30 Basics of data visualisation and visual analytics Jan Aerts
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch  
13:30 - 15:00 Basics of data visualisation and visual analytics Jan Aerts
15:00 - 15:30 Break - outside Kendrew Lecture Theatre  
15:30 - 17:00 Keynote "Steal from the best - how to structure interactive stories" - Kendrew Lecture Theatre Adam Frost
19:00 Evening meal  
Day 2 – Tuesday 12 March 2019
09:30 - 11:00 Data visualisation 101 Niki Karamanis
11:00 - 11:30 Break  
11:30 - 12:30 EBI data viz showcase EBI service teams
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch  
13:30 - 15:00 User Experience workshop Niki Karamanis
15:00 - 15:30 Break  
15:30 - 17:30 User Experience workshop (continued) Niki Karamanis
19:00 Evening meal   
Day 3 – Wednesday 13 March 2019
09:00 - 10:30 Implementing visualisations using D3 Ryo Sakai
10:30 - 11:00 Break  
11:00 - 12:30 Implementing visualisations using D3 Ryo Sakai
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch  
13:30 - 15:00 Implementing visualisations using D3 Ryo Sakai
15:00 - 15:30 Break  
15:30 - 17:30 Implementing visualisations using D3 Ryo Sakai
19:00 Evening meal    
Day 4 – Thursday 14 March 2019
09:00 - 10:30 Implementing visualisations using D3 Ryo Sakai
10:30 - 11:00 Break  
11:00 - 12:30 Implementing visualisations using D3 Ryo Sakai
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch  
13:30 - 15:00 Implementing visualisations using D3 Ryo Sakai
15:00 - 15:30 Break  
15:30 - 17:30 Implementing visualisations using D3 Ryo Sakai
19:00 Evening meal  
Day 5 – Friday 15 March 2019
09:00 - 10:30 Presentation and visual design on a dataset  All trainers
10:30 - 11:00 Break  
11:00 - 12:30 Presentation and visual design on a dataset All trainers
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch  
13:30 - 15:00 Presentation and visual design on a dataset All trainers
15:00 - 15:30 Break  
16:00 - 16:30 Course feedback and wrap-up All trainers
16:30 Shuttle to Cambridge Station  

In order to be considered for the course, applicants are required to submit a visualisation in WORD document format that you have created recently and would like to improve after you have attended the course. If you haven't created a visualisation yet, please attach an example visualisation similar to what you expect to produce and improve. Please submit your document to Frank O'Donnell frank@ebi.ac.uk on/before 25 January 2019 - 12:00 GMT

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Course materials

11 - 15 March 2019
European Bioinformatics Institute United Kingdom
£510
Contact
Frank O’Donnell

Organisers
  • Jan Aerts
    University of Hasselt, Belgium
  • Nikiforos Karamanis
    EMBL-EBI, UK

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