Fernanda Viégas

Fernanda Viégas
Residence Cambridge, Massachusetts
Nationality Brazilian
Fields visualization, design, interactive art, journalism
Institutions IBM Research
Alma mater Ph.D. Media Arts & Sciences, MIT Media Laboratory
Known for History Flow, Many Eyes, Chat Circles

Fernanda Bertini Viégas (born 1971) is a Brazilian scientist and designer, whose work focuses on the social, collaborative, and artistic aspects of information visualization.


Viégas received a Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab in 2005. The same year she began work at the Cambridge, Massachusetts location of IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center as part of the Visual Communication Lab.

In April 2010, she and Martin M. Wattenberg started a new venture called Flowing Media, Inc., to focus on visualization aimed at consumers and mass audiences.[1] Four months later, both of them joined Google as the co-leaders of the Google's "Big Picture" data visualization group in Cambridge, MA.[2][3]


Social visualization

Viégas began her research while at the MIT Media Lab, focusing on graphical interfaces for online communication. Her Chat Circles system introduced ideas such as proximity-based filtering of conversation and a visual archive of chat history displaying the overall rhythm and form of a conversation.[4] Her email visualization designs (including PostHistory and Themail) are the foundation for many other systems; her findings on how visualizations are often used for storytelling influenced subsequent work on the collaborative aspects of visualization.[5] While at MIT, she also studied usage of Usenet and blogs.[6]

Collective intelligence and public visualization

Fernanda Viégas, "Chromogram," 2006

A second stream of work, in partnership with Martin Wattenberg, centers on collective intelligence and the public use of data visualization.

Her work with visualizations such as History Flow and Chromogram led to some of the earliest publications on the dynamics of Wikipedia, including the first scientific study of the repair of vandalism.[7]

Viégas is one of the founders of IBM's experimental Many Eyes web site, created in 2007,[8][9] which seeks to make visualization technology accessible to the public. In addition to broad uptake from individuals, the technology from Many Eyes has been used by nonprofits and news outlets such as the New York Times Visualization Lab.[10]


Viégas is also known for her artistic work, which explores the medium of visualization for explorations of emotionally charged digital data. An early example is Artifacts of the Presence Era, an interactive installation at the Boston Center for the Arts in 2003, which featured a video-based timeline of visitor interactions with the museum. She often works with Martin Wattenburg to visualize emotionally charged information. An example of these works is their piece "Web Seer", which is a visualization of gole suggest.[11] The Fleshmap series (started in 2008) uses visualization to portray aspects of sensuality, and includes work on the web, video, and installations.[12] In 2012, she launched the Wind Map project,[13] which displays continuously updated forecasts of wind patterns across the United States.



  1. "A New Chapter — Visual Hint". Hint.fm. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  2. "That was fast! — Visual Hint". Hint.fm. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  3. "Fernanda B. Viégas". Fernandaviegas.com. 2008-08-31. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  4. Chat Circles. Fernanda B. Viégas and Judith Donath. ACM Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI), 1999
  5. Baby Names, Visualization, and Social Data Analysis Martin Wattenberg. InfoVis 2005
  6. Jeffrey Rosen, Your Blog or Mine?, New York Times Magazine, December 19, 2004
  7. 2004: Studying Cooperation and Conflict between Authors with history flow Visualizations. Fernanda B. Viégas, Martin Wattenberg, and Kushal Dave. ACM Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (CHI)
  8. Anne Eisenberg, Lines and Bubbles and Bars, Oh My! New Ways to Sift Data, New York Times, August 30, 2008
  9. Folha de S.Paulo, Many Eyes é criação de brasileira, November 1, 2008'.
  10. New York Times Visualization Lab
  11. http://fernandaviegas.com/art.html
  12. Cate McQuaid, Inside squash: art and sport confined, Boston Globe, April 29, 2009
  13. "The Week In Ideas - On With The Wind", The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2012.
  14. Chat Circles
  15. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
  16. CHI 2004
  17. IEEE Xplor
  18. Net Works: Case Studies In Web Art and Design. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415882224/
  19. Beautiful Visualization: Looking at Data Through the Eyes of Experts. http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920000617.do

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 6/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.