Fernanda Viégas

Fernanda B. Viégas is a computational designer whose work focuses on the social, collaborative, and artistic aspects of information visualization. She is a is a co-leader, with Martin Wattenberg, of Google's "Big Picture" data visualization group in Cambridge, MA.

Before joining Google, she and Wattenberg founded Flowing Media, Inc., a visualization studio focused on media and consumer-oriented projects. Prior to Flowing Media, they led IBM's Visual Communication Lab, where they created the ground-breaking public visualization platform Many Eyes, an experiment in open, public data visualization and analysis.

Before joining IBM, Viégas's research at the MIT Media Lab focused on the visualization of online communities. She is known for her pioneering work on depicting chat histories, email archives, and Wikipedia activity. Viégas's interest in the stories that people tell about these archives led to a series of visualizations of personal, emotionally-charged data.

Her artistic visualizations have been exhibited in venues such as the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Viégas holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from the Media Lab at MIT. She is Brazilian and misses the year-round warm weather in Rio de Janeiro where she grew up.

Panel: Augmented Education

The panel will explore how new media might augment education. We’ll focus on the properties of the medium, both good and bad: Can new, interactive media help us with traditional subjects like reading, writing, and math? Conversely, are there cases where pencil and paper are the best tools for learning programming? There will be plenty of time for a lively discussion sparked by the panelists' experiences and demos.