Despite advances in automated algorithms and systems, human judgment remains indispensable in data analysis. Communication and storytelling also increasingly rely on carefully curated and analyzed data. The variety and volume of real-world datasets and the diversity of application scenarios, however, present many challenges for research on interactive data technologies.

My research focuses on the design of human-centered tools for data analysis and communication. Taking a holistic approach, I am interested in the following problems: 1) what are the effective visual representation and interaction techniques for a given dataset and problem domain, 2) how to design expressive visualization authoring tools that offer rich creative opportunities without requiring specialized skills such as programming, and 3) how to provide scalable overviews of big data and to support interactive querying in real time.

Selected Projects

mining and visualizing branching patterns in temporal event sequences
Visual Cue
understanding user preferences in choosing visual cues for presentation
Clickstream Analytics
exploring clickstreams at multiple levels of granularity: patterns, segments, sequences & events
Data-Driven Guides
creating expressive infographics: draw, place & measure custom shapes with data-bound guides
querying big data in real-time through data tile precomputation & parallel processing on GPU
making sense of document collections with text analytics and interactive visualizations
managing ambiguity in natural language interfaces for data visualization
modeling, visualizing & analyzing tabular data as multi-variate networks


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  • Seattle, WA 98103
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  • Email: leoli at
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Travel & Talks

  • 1/18, Shonan Meeting, Japan
  • 12/17, CHI PC meeting, Montreal
  • 11/17, Dagstuhl, Germany
  • 10/17, VIS, Phoenix, AZ
  • 06/17, EuroVis, Barcelona, Spain