Analysis, Visualization & Discovery
Wednesday April 16, 3:30pm — 420 Mary Gates Hall
Video archive at

People, Data and Analysis

Pat Hanrahan
Professor, Stanford University & Co-Founder, Tableau Software


Big data is a hot topic in computing. Most research has focused on automatic methods of data processing such as machine learning and natural language processing. Another important direction of research is how to build systems that can store and process massive data sets. Unfortunately, what has been lost in the discussion is how people should use data to perform analysis and make decisions. It is unlikely that people will be replaced completely by automated decision making systems in the near future. Hence, an important question to ask is what should people do and what should computers do? In this talk, I will discuss promising approaches for building interactive tools that allow people to perform data analysis more easily and effectively.


Pat Hanrahan is the CANON Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, where he teaches computer graphics. He is also Tableau Software's Chief Scientist. His current research involves visualization, image synthesis, and graphics systems and architectures. Before joining Stanford he was a faculty member at Princeton. Pat has received two Academy Awards for Science and Technology, the Spirit of America Creativity Award, the SIGGRAPH Computer Graphics Achievement Award, the SIGGRAPH Stephen A. Coons Award, and the IEEE Visualization Career Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.