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Visual and Decision Informatics (CVDI)

Drexel University

Stony Brook University

Tampere University of Technology

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

University of Virginia

Last Reviewed: 08/10/2017

The Center for Visual and Decision Informatics conducts research on next generation visual and decision support tools to improve the interpretation and analysis of information.

Center Mission and Rationale

CVDI’s mission is to research and develop next generation technologies in data science, big data, analytics, including visual analytics, augmented intelligence, and decision informatics to enable decision makers in government and industry to fundamentally improve the way their organization’s information is interpreted and analyzed. CVDI will bring together, analytic, visual and perceptual techniques by advancing the state-of-the-art in the research fields of Information Visualization, Visual Analytics and Automated Analysis.


(1) Become a world leader in big data and data science by creating exceptional core competencies across multiple areas,

(2) Create a network of diverse and complementary research sites, both here in the US and abroad, that deliver extensive technical expertise to industrial partners and the research community,

(3) Accelerate the creation and transfer of technology to industry and commercial products, and

(4) Attract high quality student talent, and produce future workforce that have broad industrial perspective in their research that has the potential to benefit local and national economy.

Research program

Decision-Making Environments

Decision-Making Environments embodies a layered framework for the development of analytic and visual tools that enable users to make better decisions through information exploration and analysis.  The user can choose between or fuse information streams in a variety of modalities, depending on which one offers the best insight. Analysis programs running simultaneously in the background supplement the visual displays with analytic summaries and statistical insights.  This environment is thus a seamless integration of many components, including analytic, visualization, perception as well as human/computer interface.

Special Activities

Spring Industry Advisory Board Meeting - March 20-22, 2018

The CVDI Spring Industry Advisory Board Meeting is March 20-22, 2018 at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. This is bi-annual meeting of the industry advisory board and center members to assess ongoing research and set priorities for new research directions. Visitors interested in membership are welcome, but will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Facilities and Laboratory

Drexel University

Drexel is a world-class comprehensive research institution committed to use-inspired research with real-world applications, and the University’s research activities result in more than $110 million in annual expenditures for sponsored projects.

Research at Drexel is driven by faculty from all disciplines. Medical and health sciences research complements traditional strengths in engineering, biotechnology, basic science, information science, and business, alongside innovative scholarship in media arts and design, the social sciences, education, and law. The Office of Research at Drexel University is committed to facilitating these research efforts.

Clear examples of the University’s interdisciplinary approach to research can be seen in efforts to meet emerging national imperatives to upgrade the transportation infrastructure, move alternative energy sources into the mainstream, and invent the means to improve medical care while reducing its costs. The University has also established major research initiatives in engineering cities, plasma medicine and biology, and neuroengineering.

The College of Information Science at Drexel provides access to a variety of specialized facilities, including a large server IBM e1350 Linux Cluster dedicated to research use. It contains: an IBM eServer Cluster 42U Enterprise Rack; 15 IBM x335 servers (computing nodes) containing: Dual 2.8Ghz Intel Xeon Processors, 1.5GB PC2100 ECC DDR SDRAM 100Mhz Bus, 512KB L2 Cache, 40GB Fixed IDE; an IBM x345 server; an IBM DS400 SAN Storage Subsystem; and 14 300GB 10000rpm Ultra320 SCSI Hot Swap drivers = approximately 3 TB on 2 RAID-5 Volumes.

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish.  Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 25,700 students, 2,500 faculty members, and 20 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics.

The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S.News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs.

Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.

Tampere University of Technology

Tampere University of Technology (TUT) is at the leading edge of technological development and a sought-after collaboration partner among the scientific and business communities. We educate skillful graduates to serve the needs of society. Our University is a fertile breeding ground for innovations and new research- and knowledge- based companies. We generate new knowledge and expertise for the benefit of society. We foster the well-being of people and the environment through research and education. We develop technologies that reshape the competitive landscape of Finnish industry.

Technology is the key to addressing global challenges. TUT generates research-based knowledge and competence for the benefit of society.

TUT combines a strong tradition of research in the fields of natural sciences and engineering with research related to industry and business. Particular strengths include the interaction between fundamental and applied research, broad international networks and high-quality research projects that cut across departmental and disciplinary boundaries.

Signal processing, optics and photonics, intelligent machines, biomodelling and the built environment have been identified as the University’s leading-edge fields of research in Research Assessment Exercise in 2011. Within its leading-edge fields, TUT aims to rank among the world’s leading research institutions.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has more than 18,000 students and is a world-renowned research institution. The University leads in computer science, engineering and nursing and takes great pride in the quality of our programs, the innovativeness of our students and faculty, and our ever-present passion for making a difference in the world.

*According to the National Science Foundation, UL Lafayette is among the top 10 universities in the United States for its percentage of research and development expenditures funded by business.

*The Carnegie Foundation has designated UL Lafayette as a “Research University with High Research Activity.”

The researchers have access to specialized equipment that includes cloud computing infrastructure, virtual reality environments, and big data enterprise storage capabilities. Additional computational resources are available at the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, which provides one of most powerful distributed supercomputer resources available to any academic community with over 85 teraflops of computational capacity.

University of Virginia

The UVA site of CVDI will pursue a research agenda that features an integration of control, decision, and systems modeling concepts with statistical methods, machine learning and pattern recognition.   Areas of concentration include cognitive assistance, information retrieval, natural language processing, latent structure learning, reinforcement learning, deep learning, data fusion and distributed learning, spatio-temporal models, and agent-based models and simulation. A distinguishing characteristic of the UVA site research agenda is an emphasis on prescriptive modeling and the use of data in the context of decision making in complex systems. Specific research directions identified for initial projects include: (1) Systemic risk–analytics addressing fragility and shock propagation in networks, financial or otherwise; (2) Cognitive assistance–analytics that help humans interact with complex socio-technical systems, such as the law; and (3) Privacy and anonymity–analytic methods that preserve these quantities. Current site members include companies the fields of manufacturing, IoT and sensing, data privacy and security, finance and banking, national defense, and media.

UVA faculty participation includes more than a dozen members from the three computing and informatics departments–Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Systems and Information Engineering–as well as members the College of Arts & Science (Psychology), McIntire School of Commerce, School of Medicine, and School of Law. This faculty interest reflects the critical importance of data science across all disciplines, as well as the breadth of UVA’s academic and professional degree programs. The UVA CVDI site is a Center of Excellence within UVA’s Data Science Institute, which supports all aspects of data science across the university with a rich array of computational resources that includes a secure cloud for analytics on medical patient and other sensitive data. UVA has a deep commitment to industry-sponsored research, which accounts for 20% of the total activity in School of Engineering and Applied Science, and a rich history of engaging with the I/UCRC program that includes current or past membership in the Laser Center, NGeNE, WICAT, and BWAC. Other major industry research relationships include being one of three U.S University Technology Centers for Rolls Royce Corporation and being a founding university member of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, which has more than 30 industry members. Founded in 1836, the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science is the third oldest engineering school at a public university in the U.S., with a distinguished faculty and a student body of 2,300 undergraduates and 615 graduate students.




University of Louisiana at Lafayette

635 Cajundome Blvd.

Lafayette, Louisiana, 70506

United States

Drexel University

3141 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104

United States

Tampere University of Technology

Korkeakoulunkatu 10

Tampere, , FI-33720


University of Virginia

151 Engineer's Way

Charlottesville, Virginia, 22904-4747

United States

Stony Brook University

100 Nicolls Road

Stony Brook, New York, 11794

United States