Interactive visualizations are useful tools for data analysis and communication. Recently two major trends have brought opportunities and challenges in visualization research. First, data are increasing in size and complexity across problem domains. In addition to improving the efficiency of data management and processing, the design of scalable interactive systems must also take into account the limits of human cognition and the nature of user tasks. Second, more diverse users need to work with data as an integral part of their jobs. These include but are not limited to scientists, analysts, journalists, and designers. Because these people come from varied backgrounds with different levels of technical skills, they require visualization tools that offer low barriers of entry without sacrificing analytic or expressive power.

My research focuses on scalable visualization systems for broader audiences. Taking a human-centered approach, I contribute novel interaction techniques and visualization models based on a deep understanding of human cognition and user tasks.

I am looking for motivated students to work with me on a range of research projects related to information visualization, visual analytics, and more broadly human-data interaction.


Select Projects

Data Illustrator
augmenting vector drawing tools with lazy data binding to author expressive visualizations
querying big data in real-time through data tile precomputation & parallel processing on GPU
managing ambiguity in natural language interfaces for data visualization
interweaving querying & pattern mining for recursive exploration
mining & visualizing branching patterns in event sequences
Patterns and Sequences
exploring clickstreams at multiple levels of granularity


  • Department of Computer Science
  • Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering
  • University of Maryland
  • 8125 Paint Branch Drive
  • College Park, MD 20742

Email: leozcliu at
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