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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S018042/1
Title: Capital Award in Support of Early Career Researchers: "Edinburgh Vishub"
Principal Investigator: Robertson, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Murray-Rust, Dr DS Pschetz, Dr L Rawlinson, Dr J
Bach, Dr B Hill, Dr R L Rovatsos, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: College of Science and Engineering
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 January 2019 Ends: 30 June 2022 Value (£): 200,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Jul 2018 Capital Award in Support of ECR Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This proposal puts forward the idea of a collaborative data visualization space for interdisciplinary research, teaching, and public engagement - the "Vishub". This will support highly-innovative collectives of researchers in all disciplines in their data driven research, as well as driving innovation in interfaces to better engage with and understand data. It will be situated in The Bayes Centre, which hosts staff across academia and businesses with a strong interdisciplinary focus on translational research, education and collaborations. The Bayes Centre is a university-wide hub for Informatics technology transfer, providing company incubation and engagement space, with a special focus on data science.

Successful research and engagement with data and data science requires effective interfaces for humans to control, explore, and present data and the associated analytical processes. Our project builds up a strong potential for a world class lab around data science, driven by a world-leading collection of expertise. Our Vishub will be equipped with state-of-the-art display, interaction, and fabrication devices, providing early career researchers (ECRs) with dedicated equipment and space to engage with their data through research, collaboration, teaching, and exhibition. The equipment will include three key technologies that underpin research into interactions with data: a) physicalization and fabrication, b) immersive displays (AR/VR, large surfaces), and c) touch and tangible input. Our initial network of ECRs covers researchers in Informatics (machine learning, NLP, text and data mining, bioinformatics), but extends to biology, medicine, geosciences, digital humanities, social sciences, art and design, music, and more. The Vishub will give ECRs access to otherwise equipment that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive. Beyond this, it will help researchers in visualization, human-computer interaction and data science to establish novel collaborations with domain scientists. This will stimulate advances in visualization techniques that benefit the wider research community. This allows the Co-Is and the Bayes center to build up expertise around interfaces for data visualization and beyond.

We will provide six interactive visualization kits addressing a variety of needs in the ECR community, supporting novel forms digital research and data analysis. We emphasise mobile kits that can be used across the university for workshops, demos, and situated research. We will run a set of information events and workshops, targeting specifically ECRs across the university, in order to extend our collective of collaborators, projects, and potential grant applications. Equipment will be bought in stages to make sure the most appropriate kits are built up and develop inclusive strategies for managing access. We forsee:

a Mobile Augmented and Virtual Reality workshop, to enable research with multiple people, within the general urban environment and other places outside a traditional lab setting.

- a Mobile Physical Data Visualization lab that supports cutting-edge data physicalization to be carried out with research partners.

- a Stationary Physicalization lab for larger scale, high-end data physicalization and exploration of novel forms of data physicalization.

- a Surface Interaction Studio supporting visualization with touch screens and related devices, that can be lent to partners for situated research.

- an Augmented Projection Kit, that allows seamless projection on walls alongside interaction through tracked devices

- a Mobile Touch Wall allowing for different configurations of the individual screens to allow for individual projects or large-scale visualizations.

Taken together, these will provide a nucleus for the visualization and exploration of the vast amount of data in the University, extending our possibilities for collaboration both across disciplines and with external partners.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ed.ac.uk