Humans are primarily visual interpreters of information, but computers speak only in numbers. As such, taking massive amounts of data and translating it into a visualization can vastly improve the public's understanding of the groundbreaking work being done at NCSA. Here, our scientific visualization experts helps scientists and engineers translate numbers into images, which enables the researchers both to gain insight into their data and to more easily share their work with others.

NCSA's visualization teams bring their software knowledge and expertise in information presentation to bear on a wide range of topics, from turbulence in liquid fuels to the kinetic energy of a supernova. They work with researchers to identify the best tools for their needs and assist in effective operation of visualization software to generate publication-quality imagery and animations for posters, papers, journal articles and even feature films; they also develop visualization solutions using custom software.

For more information about NCSA’s specific visualization teams, read below:

  1. Advanced Visualization Lab

    Advanced Visualization Laboratory

    To communicate science to the public, NCSA's Advanced Visualization Laboratory works in close collaboration with domain scientists to creates high-resolution, cinematic, data-driven scientific visualizations for planetariums, museums, IMAX films, and TV documentaries. Currently, AVL is leading a National-Science Foundation-supported project to inform the public about computational and data-enabled scientific discovery. This project—called CADENS (The Centrality of Advanced Digitally ENabled Science)—will produce three ultra-high-resolution digital documentaries for fulldome theaters and nine high-definition documentary programs for online distribution via YouTube, Hulu, and other outlets.

  2. VI-Bio


    NCSA's VI-Bio team, on the other hand, focuses on the visualization necessitated by human health and biological wellness. Using machine learning, VI-Bio takes medical or genomic data and transforms it into an easily-understandable visual. Visualizing this information is vastly important when preparing it for consumption by the broader public, and as such, VI-Bio's collaborations have stretched between private industry, the government, and both non-profit and academic institutions.

  3. Data Analytics and Visualization

    Data Analytics and Visualization

    The Data Analytics and Visualization group (DAV) helps craft science-oriented, analytics-based visualizations both terrestrial and cosmic, including visual simulations of wind turbines, aircraft pressure, supernovae and even the magnetohydrodynamics of black holes. Their work can involve anything from Blue Waters user tickets to pioneering new visualization techniques, all within the frame of the scientific community.