Bridging the gap between art and science

Date: October 16, 2014

The office of Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) is hosting an exhibition of a selection of Dr. Ben Shneiderman’s treemap works. Dr. Shneiderman, a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been a pioneer in the information visualization field, which is evidenced not only in his work in the early 1990’s on treemaps, but also in its impact on data visualization today. His nesting algorithm (the use of colorful rectangle tiles mapped to tree-structured data) has led to the adoption of graphics in current business intelligence tools such as Tableau and Tibco SpotFire.

Supporting Dr. Shneiderman, is his former student and current Optimal staffer, Minhaz Kazi. Minhaz collaborated with Dr. Shneiderman by contributing to the aesthetics of the works presented opening night, on CPNAS display and in the published CPNAS booklet.

The exhibition will be on display at the National Academy of Sciences until April 2015. View information on the project, and view the catalog. The software tool developed by Dr. Shneiderman is free and can be accessed at:

Optimal is a proud corporate sponsor of the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab Annual Symposium, which was founded by Dr. Shneiderman. The symposium is committed to furthering advancements in facilitating end-user adoption, utility, and evaluation of complex technical content. For more details, see: