Interactive Visualization for Interdisciplinary Research

Studies show that many multi-scalar research problems cannot easily be addressed from the confines of individual disciplines for they require the participation of many experts, each viewing the problem from their distinctive disciplinary perspective. The bringing together of disparate experts or fields of expertise is known as interdisciplinary research. The benefit of such an approach is that discourse and collaboration among experts in distinct fields can generate new insights to the research problem at hand. With this approach comes large amounts of multivariate data and understanding the possible relationships between variables and their corresponding relevance to the problem is in itself a challenge. One of the most valuable means through which to comprehend big data and make it more approachable, is through data visualization. This paper presents a trial to encompass an interdisciplinary research centers collaborators, experiments, and results, and represent them simultaneously through the use of a high-resolution visualization. Multiple studies on how best to visualize the multivalent parameters of interdisciplinary work are discussed, highlighting how the use of an interactive data-driven documents (D3) visualization is proving very useful in managing and analyzing the interdisciplinary work of the center in the pursuit of common research goals.

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