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Our first milestone for the final project in this course is proposing what you will work on. I recommend you brainstorm some ideas first, and then reach out to me once you have narrowed down the topic.

In addition to this milestone, you must have received approval from me “verbally” about the general idea of your project. Please contact me via a private post in Piazza or during office hours to discuss the topic before turning in your proposal


In this milestone we are:

  • Planning the research project we will do during the semester
  • Verifying we have the data and resources needed to complete the project
  • Explaining why the project is important and beneficial to the visualization community and society at large
  • Verifying we can build a LaTeX file

Choosing a project

There is a wide spectrum of possible visualization research contributions. For some idea of the breadth, I recommend reading Lee et al.’s Broadening Intellectual Diversity in Visualization Research Papers, which also gives some history as to how these types of contributions have evolved and recommendations for where they can go.

There are quite a few possible project types you can pick. Here is an incomplete list:

  • Building a visual solution to a particular data analysis problem
  • Developing new algorithms / data structures / techniques for visualization
  • Designing a new system to support visualization that uses existing techniques
  • Creating new visual representations for a type of data
  • Evaluating the efficacy of a particular visualization
  • Imagining new taxonomies for data/task abstraction
  • Performing a literature survey
  • Replicating and/or extending an existing experiment

I recommend you seek out an intersection between existing work of your own research or minimally seek out a type of data or visualization tool you’re interested in understanding in more detail.

Finally, if you are proposing an experiment that would require human subjects, you must have human subject training. Please see HSPP Training for more details if this interests you.


Included with this template report are the LaTeX files required to format an IEEE VGTC-style document. You will need to fill in the files proposal.tex, intro.tex, background.tex, research.tex, impact.tex, and proposal.bib. You may also need to add figures to the figs directory. Included is a Makefile to build the document into a PDF. What you turn in should build if I type make at the command line, resulting in a PDF that I can review and grade. You are welcome to build this document with a different tool, but I am expecting your repo to build with the Makefile.

Full instructions are within the files. If this is your first time using LaTeX, I recommend googling for tutorials, such as the one on

In the intro.tex file, you will briefly describe the problem, the background necessary to understand the problem, why the problem is important, and how you plan to address the problem.

In the background.tex file, you will go into more detail about the knowledge necessary to understand the problem. You will also review related work in solving the problem.

In the research.tex file, you will discuss your plan to complete the project (solve the problem) during the semester. You will include information about your access to data and resources, your argument for the technology you will use, and your plans for evaluation along with a timeline which details how the other project milestones will be applied to your project.

In the impact.tex file, you will discuss what impact solving the problem may have and what will be learned by the community.

This milestone will be graded on the thoroughness of your proposal as well as the adherence to format and overall readability. In terms of thoroughness I will evaluate whether it fills out all the sections reasonably and answers all the questions given therein.


You should use git to submit all .tex files and files to build them. The expectation is that your proposal will graded by first building with make and then grading the resulting pdf.

To summarize, my expectation is that your repo will contain:

  1. Updated copies of proposal.tex, intro.tex, background.tex, research.tex, impact.tex, and proposal.bib
  2. All other files necessary to build proposal.pdf
  3. NO files which are the result of building, do not submit proposal.pdf nor any of the intermediate files that result from compiling LaTeX (e.g. .aux, .bbl, .blg, .log, .log files).



Requirement Value
Submitting a proposal that compiles 20
Satisfying all required elements for intro.tex 20
Satisfying all required elements for background.tex 20
Satisfying all required elements for research.tex 20
Satisfying all required elements for impact.tex 20
Total 100/100

Cumulative Relationship to Final Grade

Worth 5% of your final grade