Visualization in Science and Medicine

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Ribarsky, William
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After a very gradual 20 year development, the discipline of scientific visualization was given form and focus (and its name) by the seminal 1987 report, "Visualization in Scientific Computing". Since then the methods, means, and results of scientific visualization have grown and diversified so that now one can travel from SIGGRAPH to Visualization '91 to this conference and see different (and also lots of similar) effective graphical approaches for revealing the meaning in data. This growth, of course, has paralleled and been fed by the growth in computing technology, software development, and data accumulation. And because long-term development in computing technology and data generation should continue at the current pace, scientific visualization will also continue to diversify and increase in importance. In spite of its title, this paper does not purport to cover, even in a general sense, the whole of visualization in science and medicine (a rather large undertaking). Instead, it will present a few examples of the use of visualization in these research areas at Georgia Tech that show the breadth of representation necessary in this discipline. We will use these examples to suggest some key elements that must be present if scientific visualization is to succeed in overcoming the computing and analysis challenges of the next several years. And we will then outline the research we are undertaking to provide those key elements.
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