Course Overview

Data can capture a snapshot of the world and allow us to understand ourselves and our communities better. With ever-increasing amounts of data, the **ability to understand and communicate data is becoming essential for everyone. Visualization leverages our visual perception to provide a powerful yet accessible way to make sense of large and complex data. It has been widely adopted across disciplines, from science and engineering to business and journalism, to combat the overabundance of information in our society.

In this course, students will learn to acquire foundational knowledge about how to design effective visualizations for analysis and presentation based on theories and principles from graphic design, perceptual psychology, and cognitive science. Students will also learn practical skills about how to build visualizations using Tableau to rapidly explore and communicate data, as well as how to create interactive visualization products (e.g., articles, tools, and systems) using web-based frameworks including D3.js and Vega-Lite.

Format: Adaptable Blended

You can take this course remotely. If you want to attend in person, your name should be on the seating chart.

Time: TuTh 4:30-5:45 pm

Location: Lyons Hall 202

Q & A: Slack (use bc email to join)

Remote Lecture: Zoom

Submission: Canvas


CSCI 1101 and CSCI 1102 are required to take this course. CSCI 2254 is a plus, but not required.


Readings will be provided and available online through Boston College Libraries

We will primarily use the following two books:

  1. Munzner, Tamara. Visualization analysis and design. CRC press, 2014.
  2. Murray, Scott. Interactive data visualization for the web: an introduction to designing with D3. O'Reilly Media, Inc., 2017.