Scientific and Information visualization

While making museum exhibits in Randall Landsberg's section of Leo Kadanoff's SCOPE project, Mark SubbaRao (UC Astro/Adler Planetarium) introduced me to Stuart Levy's Partiview, free 3d visualization software that has traditionally been used in the astronomy domain. This turned out to be a surprisingly useful tool for testing machine learning algorithms.

"Visualizing high-dimensional datasets with Partiview", poster with Stuart Levy at the 2004 IEEE Information Visualization conference. We also have a demo at the 2004 NIPS Conference.

Machine Learning Projects

Matlab interface to Partiview. Comments welcome.

Here are some demos showing how different spectral clustering and kernel-based algorithms perform on different types of data in my research and other people's research.

  • Optical Character Recognition. This demo reached the semi-finals (but no further) of the NSF Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge 2004. Data from Misha Belkin.
  • College Football Conferences, a nice experiment in 3d graph visualization. Data from Mark Newman.
  • Face Recognition. PCA applied to the ORL database.
  • Unsupervised Syllable Acquisition.
  • Classifying Galaxies by Spectral Type. Work with Mark SubbaRao.
  • Edge Detection in a Zebrafish project. Data from Leandro Cortes.
  • Finding clusters in user networks. Work with Anda Iamnitchi.
  • Song Feature data. Work with Misha Belkin and Bill Sethares.
  • Image Retrieval: Testing an algorithm's perfomance on the Corel database. Data from Xiaofei He.

Astro/Physics Projects

Most of these were/are done in connection with the Cosmus Group, which produces free and open source visuals for astronomy (etc) for use on regular computers and GeoWalls.

I've also processed (aligned, documented, etc) several stereo photographs from several terrestial observatories (Kitt Peak, Apache Point, Mt Hopkins, Owens Valley) and Mars. The pictures were taken by Brian Humensky, Jurek Krzesinski, Chris Greer, and the NASA/JPL Spirit and Opportunity Rovers.

Other Projects

Here are some cute demos I've made for friends.


The original Partiview paper is Stuart Levy's "Interactive 3-D Visualization of Particle Systems with Partiview", in the 2001 Proceedings (Vol 208) of the International Astronomical Union Symposium on Astrophysical Supercomputing using Particles.

The two standard Partiview references are

Partiview Users Guide by Brian Abbott of Hayden Planetarium / AMNH.

Partiview Reference Manual by Peter Teuben and Stuart Levy.

And here's some stuff I've written: