Michael Oppermann
Michael Oppermann

I'm a data visualization specialist and PhD candidate in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. My interests are in human-data interaction, and in combining techniques and methods from visualization, machine learning, and human-centered design.

Short Bio

I'm a PhD candidate and research assistant in the InfoVis Group at the University of British Columbia and I'm advised by Tamara Munzner. Prior to UBC, I completed a Master program in Business Informatics at the University of Vienna, where I worked in the Visualization and Data Analysis Group.

I gained further experience as a visiting research fellow in the Visual Computing Group at Harvard University, and as a research intern at Tableau Software in Palo Alto.

I helped in designing and restructuring large undergrad courses at several universities and I have multiple years of experience as a teaching assistant for human-computer interaction and visualization courses.

As a web developer and consultant, I have worked on projects for multiple clients across industries.

I'm also a passionate traveller and enjoy skiing, hiking, camping, and road tripping in #BeautifulBritishColumbia.

Education

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science (PhD)
2017 - (est.) 2021
Master of Business Informatics (Dipl-Ing)
2014 - 2017
Bachelor of Business Informatics (BSc)
2011 - 2014

Expertise

Visualization & Data Science

I create interactive visualizations to help people explore, analyze, and communicate complex data. Thereby, I follow a user-centered prototyping process and use the latest principles from visualization research to develop effective solutions. I leverage machine learning models to either assist users in interacting with data and decision making, or to fully automate processes for well-defined tasks.

Mixed-Methods Research

I led multiple research projects, collaborated with interdisciplinary teams, and published in top visualization and human-computer interaction venues (CHI, VIS/TVCG, EuroVis/CGF). I'm passionate about applied research projects that drive product innovation in industry, and I'm flexible about choosing from a repertoire of methods, including rapid prototyping, interviews, crowdsourced studies, questionnaires, computational testing, and visual data inspection.

Coding & Web Development

JavaScript and D3 are my default tools to develop engaging data experiences. I build reactive web applications with Svelte.js, wrangle data in Python, and create powerful back-ends using Flask and Django. I'm experienced with various database systems and have set up and customized large-scale e-commerce platforms.

UX & Interface Design

I deeply care about the usability of any tools I develop, to help users perform their desired tasks efficiently and effectively. I believe the aesthetics of digital products is all too often neglected but is essential to create engaging and memorable experiences. I strive to get an in-depth understanding of the target user groups to optimize both of these design directions.

Teaching & Training

I held guest lectures, coding tutorials, and spoke about D3.js. As a teaching assistant, I tutored students in human-computer interaction and visualization courses for multiple years. I developed the curriculum for large-scale undergraduate courses and increased student engagement by integrating new active learning principles.

Publications

Data-First Visualization Design Studies
Proc. of the IEEE VIS Workshop Evaluation and Beyond - Methodological Approaches for Visualization (BELIV), pp. 74-80, 2020
Michael Oppermann and Tamara Munzner
Bike Sharing Atlas: Visual Analysis of Bike-Sharing Networks
International Journal of Transportation (IJT), 6(1): 1-14, 2018
Michael Oppermann, Torsten Möller, and Michael Sedlmair
Teaching Visualization for Large and Diverse Classes on Campus and Online
Proc. IEEE VIS Workshop on Pedagogy of Data Visualization, 2016

Talks

A Tour of D3
Bio+Med+Vis Spring School, May 2021
Recommendations and Previews for Browsing Visualization Collections
Invited talk, York University, Mar 2021
VizCommender: Computing Text-Based Similarity in Visualization Repositories for Content-Based Recommendations
VAST, IEEE VIS, Oct 2020
Data-First Visualization Design Studies
BELIV, IEEE VIS, Oct 2020
Ocupado: Visualizing Location-Based Counts Over Time Across Buildings
EuroVis, May 2020
Uncovering Spatiotemporal Dynamics from Non-Trajectory Data
CityVis Workshop, IEEE VIS, Berlin. Oct 2018
A Global Perspective on Bike Sharing Networks and Urban Commuting Patterns
8th International Visualization in Transportation Symposium, Washington DC. Jul 2017

Service

Reviewer (CHI, TVCG, EuroVis, MobileHCI)
VP Social, UBC Computer Science Graduate Student Association (2019-2020)
Workshop organization: Haptipedia — An interactive database for selecting, ideating, and learning about grounded force-feedback devices (AsiaHaptics in South Korea, 2018)

Awards & Honours

Innovation Award at the Designing for People (DFP) Showcase
2021, DFP is a research excellence cluster at the University of British Columbia
“NaturTalente” - High Potential Program of the University of Vienna
2016, Nominated from the Faculty of Computer Science due to my academic performance
Accenture Campus Innovation Challenge, 1st Place in Austria
2016, Conception and development of an Industrial Internet of Things solution

Languages

I'm fluent in German and English.