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About Me

Hey there.

My name’s Paul, and I’m a software developer and data journalist at the New York Times’ Interactive News Desk.

I was previously a student of the Creative Coding Research Group in the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The group, led by Angus Forbes, is engaged in an interdisciplinary mix of visualization research and new media artwork. I was previously funded by a grant related to DARPA’s Big Mechanism project, which has the goal of automatically assembling complex causal models from published bioinformatics data.

My work has touched on a diverse range of interests and research domains. I believe that aesthetic qualities and principles of design are not superfluous concerns constrained to artistic productions. Design and elegance are essential components of any data visualization experience.

As a PhD student, I used modern web technologies to build rich interactive online experiences. My projects included the development of visual analytics platforms for scientific data as well as interactive new media art installations.

I have assisted with the design and construction of several user studies of visualization techniques, including studies of density-based motion for clustered multivariate data, comparisons of novel layouts for complex hierarchical data, and a cognitive psychology studies related to inattentional blindness.

My work has been presented at BioVis 2015, MapInteract 2014, and published in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications.

My most recent work includes the development of web-based tools in the domain of bioinformatics. Recent examples include novel interactive graph visualizations of biochemical reaction networks and an interactive matrix visualization of NLP data extracted from published bioinformatics research.

My artistic collaborations include Imagining Macondo, a large-scale interactive art installation designed by George Legrady, Angus Forbes, and Andres Burbano which gave more than 200,000 participants the ability to contribute photographs – via a mobile web interface – to a live, large-scale visualization, which portrayed an animated clustering of images into thematic groups related to the literature of Gabriel García Márquez.

At the recent 2015 IEEE VIS Arts Program, I collaborated on a project to interactively visualize real-time radio frequency data using a powerful radio frequency sensor. Users were able to visually experience the hidden streams of constant radio activity produced by their own interactions with consumer electronics, such as automobile key fobs and cell phones.

Recent artistic works also include the implementation of PoetryChains, a visual exploration of Emily Dickinson’s poetry using graph-traversal techniques, designed and conceived by Angus Forbes, and implemented as a large-scale installation using D3 and Three.js.

My previous academic interests and research experiences have been diverse and interdisciplinary. As an undergraduate psychology major, I helped conduct studies of goal-setting behavior and inattentional blindness. As a master’s student of sociology, I studied formal social network analysis with Ronald Breiger. I’m particularly interested in the structure of social networks in the art world. My master’s thesis examined network-level relationships between musical venues, traveling performers, and genre.

Thanks for visiting my website – if you want to say hello or have any questions, feel free to email me.

Have a great day.

— *Paul Murray*