Seminar Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten

WS or SS 2.0 h (3.0 ECTS), 180.765

Teaching Staff
Peter Mindek (organizer)
Hsiang-Yun Wu (organizer)
Eduard Gröller

Course Information and NEWS

Die LVA „Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten“ wird ab WS 2016/17 neu organisiert. Das Ziel ist es, allen Informatikstudierenden eine einheitliche, gemeinsame, theoretische und methodische Einführung in das wissenschaftliche Arbeiten anzubieten:

  • In TISS wird es nur eine einzige LVA “Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten” geben, die von Professor Steinhardt organisiert und koordiniert wird (link)
  • In einem gemeinsamen Block werden in einer allgemeinen Einführung wesentliche Aspekte zum wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten vermittelt. Für diesen Teil gilt Anwesenheitspflicht. Für einen positiven Erfolg müssen die Studierenden mind. 2/3 dieses Blocks besuchen. Wie dieser Teil gestaltet wird, wird von Professor Steinhardt rechtzeitig kommuniziert.
  • Die Weiterarbeit in Gruppen (nach dem gemeinsamen Einführungsblock) wird weiterhin von den einzelnen LVA-Leitern und -Leiterinnen geplant, organisiert, durchgeführt und beurteilt.
  • Diese LVA wird im Studienjahr 2016/2017 in beiden Semestern angeboten.
  • Die Registrierung für die LVA wird im neuen Modus zentral gehandhabt. Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier: (link)

    Important: for the phase 2, students have to enroll centrally via TUWEL until October 13, organized by Prof. Steinhardt and his tutor Mrs Ta.

    Slides from the initial meeting can be found here.

    Course Outline


    The goal of this seminar is to write and present a state of the art report. A member of the teaching staff will guide and help students in acquiring the scientific material and writing the report. The students are also expected to present their work in a talk in front of their peers.

    Tasks for the students:

    Teaching staff will evaluate and grade students based on the following output:

    Important Dates:

    Grading Criteria

    The seminar is split into two parts. The first (central) part accounts for 15% of the grade. The second part will account for 85% of the grade. The second part (85% of the grade) consists of:


    All the literature that is reviewed during the seminar has to be placed in the reference section of the report. You can have further information about referencing and examples of what is plagiarism here. We are all expected to abide by professional scientific ethics and make sure that the work is not plagiarized in any sense.

    Downloads and Links


    Paper search engines

    Tips for writing papers and preparing presentations


    Topic 1: Visualization of Search Results
    One slot available
    The most common way to present results of a query, such as through a web search engine, is to show a ranked list of text snippets or images. Alternative representations analyze the text or image content or the associated meta-data (if available) to provide a more compact represenation of the resulting documents. The major challenges are that the raw data is unstructured (e.g., long text documents), heterogeneous (e.g., consists of text and images), and can be very big. In this seminar work, different methods to visualize search results should be explored, classified, compared, and the necessary data processing should be described.

    Topic 2: Virtual Reality Visualizations
    No slots available
    With new powerful and affordable virtual reality hardware, a lot of applications are being adapted for virtual environments. VR visualizations – in particular in the scientific visualization domain – have been developed for a long time, and now again gain popularity. In the course of this seminar work, useful application domains for VR visualizations should be explored, as well as the benefits and problems when visualizing data within a virtual environment. A special focus of the work should lie on the necessary modifcations required to adopt visualizations to VR (e.g., 3D navigation, rendering, interative exploration techniques).

    Topic 3: Mixed and Augmented Reality Visualizations
    One slot available
    With new powerful and affordable augmented reality hardware, a lot of applications are being adapted for presentation in mixed reality (MR) settings. MR visualizations are data representations super-imposed on the user‘s view of the real world – either using head-mounted displays or handheld mobile displays. In the course of this seminar work, useful application domains for MR visualizations should be explored, as well as the benefits and problems when visualizing data within the real environment. A special focus of the work should lie on the necessary modifcations required to adopt visualizations to VR (e.g., 3D registration, rendering, interactive exploration).

    Topic 4: Augmented Reality: State of Technology
    No slots available
    Google Glass and then more recently Apple’s release of the ARKit framework have contributed to Augmented Reality becoming more and more popular. What technology and techniques have been developed in recent years that enable this adoption of Augmented Reality by general public.

    Topic 5: Rendering Systems Architectures
    No slots available
    Research the approaches to designing rendering systems used in i.e. video games. The challenge of these systems is usually to abstract platform specific details but also use the specific platform features to improve rendering performance. Compare how different approaches deal with these conditions.

    Topic 6: Visual Analytics for (Bio-)Medical Applications
    Two slots available
    The amount of information coming from (bio-)medical data is increasing drastically. These large data sets are obtained from hospitals, medical practices or laboratories and can be used to explore the underlying information, to discover unknown knowledge about patients and to confirm or generate new hypotheses. Knowledge discovery systems, provided from the field of Visual Analytics, can support experts to make further decisions, explore the data or to predict future events. The field of Visual Analytics combines Visualization with other disciplines, such as data mining, statistics and pattern recognition in highly interactive environments to support users to integrate domain knowledge into the knowledge discovery process. In this project, we are interested in a study on recent work performed in Visual Analytics for Bio-/Medical applications.

    Topic 7: Progressive Visual Analytics
    Two slots available
    Visual Analytics strategies can be a very promising basis for a number of applications, supporting users to explore and analyze their data. Yet, the results of the incorporated dimensionality reduction techniques may be not entirely understood, or it may not be feasible to achieve results on-the-fly. The latter implies that the users might be required to wait until the completion of the employed algorithm, every time that they need to redefine it, which is not always optimal for the analysis workflow. To this end, the field of Progressive Visual Analytics, where partial results of an algorithm can be produced and interactively explored and analyzed, may be beneficial. In this project, we are interested in a study on recent work on the field of PVA, and on their fields of application.

    Topic 8: Evaluation methods in Medical Visualization
    No slots available
    In Medical Visualization, the evaluation of the designed and implemented systems or solutions is often restricted to qualitative comparisons with reference to user preferences. However, it often neglects more objective measures such as accuracies or task completion times. This is usually occurring, due to the fact that ground truth is not always available or difficult to obtain. In addition to this, setting strict standards with respect to how an evaluation should be conducted is difficult. In this project, we are interested in a study on common ways of evaluating medical visualizations.

    Topic 9: Network Visualization for Biological Pathways
    Two slots available
    Networks are well-known representations for describing a relationship of entities between data samples. Thus, it is also intuitive to use networks as a base for visually describing biological interactions.

    Topic 10: Automatic Map Layout using Space Partitioning Techniques
    One slot available
    Automatic map generation becomes an interesting topic because it can be used for game design, house design, as well as map design. The results of these approaches often serve as a base for the hand-drawn design.

    Topic 11: Abstract Visualization of DNA
    One slot available
    The typical visualization of DNA depicts the structure at a higher level of abstraction, such as the backbone of the DNA (far right image) or the entire atomic details (far left image). In the second image, the nucleotides are represented as spheres and the single strands of DNA are abstracted as tubes. In the third image, ellipsoids and beads/spheres are used as generic abstractions for coarse-grained representations of DNA structures.
    The student should write a state of the art report on the different visualization of the structure of DNA.
    Third image: E. Abrahamsson and S. S. Plotkin. BioVEC: A program for biomolecule visualization with ellipsoidal coarse-graining. Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling, 28(2):140–145, Sept. 2009. doi: 10.1016/j.jmgm.2009.05.001
    First and second: ] H. Miao, E. De Llano, J. Sorger, Y. Ahmadi, T. Kekic, T. Isenberg, M. E. Groller, I. Barisic, and I. Viola. Multiscale visualization and scale- adaptive modification of DNA nanostructures. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 24(1), Jan. 2018.

    Topic 12: 2D Navigation in 3D Space
    One slot available
    The idea is to use lower dimensional representation of complex objects in 3D space. Left image: exploring brain fiber tracts (from diffusion tensor imaging) through linked 2D views. Selection can be done in several linked 2D views. Right images: LifeSync synchronized 2D slices with 3D volumetric view. Intuitive picking actions can be done in 2D and the volumetric views is then automatically updated.
    These are only two examples. There are many others where the idea is applied on a similar way. The student should write a state of the art report on concept, where the 2D space is used for navigation in a 3D environment.
    Left image: R. Jianu, C. Demiralp, and D. Laidlaw. Exploring 3d dti fiber tracts with linked 2d representations. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 15(6):1449–1456, 2009.
    Right image: P. Kohlmann, S. Bruckner, A. Kanitsar, and M. E. Groller. LiveSync: Deformed viewing spheres for knowledge-based navigation. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 13(6):1544– 1551, 2007.

    Topic 13: Position-Based Dynamics
    One slot available
    In this report, the student will write about simulation approaches where the calculations are performed directly on positions, rather than velocities.

    Topic 14: Screen-Space Advanced Illumination Algorithms
    One slot available
    In this report, the student will write about the methods for calculating illumination in screen-space rather than the the traditional approaches where the calculations are performed in object-space.

    Topic 15: Performance Visualization
    One slot available
    Visualization of information that is related to the runtime behavior of systems or applications is called software visualization. Performance visualization is a type of software visualization, which comprises techniques that aid developers and analysts in improving the time and energy efficiency of their software. It utilizes techniques like tracing and recording, or measuring techniques to gather information that is subsequently presented to the user through visual representations.

    Topic 16: DSLs in Visualization
    Two slots available
    Domain-specific languages (DSLs) offer increased expressiveness compared to general purpose programming languages and higher flexibility compared to graphical user interfaces at low computational overhead. By abstracting the details of the computer soft- and hardware, the user can focus on the relevant (i.e., domain-specific) problems. A well-chosen Domain-specifc language improves the productivity for developers and the communication with domain experts. It makes it easier to understand a complicated block of code, thus improving the productivity of those working with it. It can also make it easier to communicate with domain experts, by providing a common text that acts as both executable software and a description that domain experts can read to understand how their ideas are represented in a system.

    Topic 17: Multi-Scale Visualization
    One slot available
    When visualizing phenomena such as organisms, or the universe, it is necessary to chose an adequate scale of interest. Since these phenomena contain interesting details on multiple scales, which cannot be shown concurrently with linear scaling, there have been various method developed to overcome this obstacle.

    Topic 18: Special Effects in Computer Graphics
    No slots available
    In this topic, you will explore the cool stuff that computer graphics can be used for. Volumetric effects, instancing, deferred lighting schemes, you name it. All the things that can be used to create breathtaking virtual worlds.