The Virginia Tech Research Center — Arlington is launching a Leaders in Science and Technology Seminar Series on Tuesday, Feb. 21. 

The series will promote Virginia Tech’s leadership in the National Capital Region by focusing on a diverse range of topics that lie at the interface of science and technology. The inaugural lectures in the series will discuss applications in information theory and visualization, new approaches to cybersecurity, and the complexity of language. Three lectures will be presented annually, sponsored by the Office of the President, Virginia Tech, and the Office of the Vice President, National Capital Region.

The first speaker in the seminar series, on Feb. 21, is Ben Shneiderman, professor in the Department of Computer Science, founding director of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory, and a member of the Institute of Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. The central theme of his lecture, Information Visualization for Knowledge Discovery, is the integration of statistics with visualization as applied to temporal event sequences such as electronic health records and social network data. His presentation will include a review of the growing number of commercial success stories. 

The lecture will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21, 4 to 5:30 p.m., at the Virginia Tech Research Center located at 900 North Glebe Rd., Arlington, Va., and broadcast to Blacksburg in Room 310 at the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. Following the lecture, in Arlington, Shneiderman will sign copies of his newest book, "Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL," which will be available for purchase. 

“We are very pleased to be in the position of offering the local science and technology community, and our colleagues around Virginia Tech, the opportunity to hear from leading researchers as they work on current topics that lie at the interface of science and technology,” said Don Leo, vice president and executive director of National Capital Region Operations. “And we are proud to have Ben Shneiderman, at the forefront of research in computer science, as our first speaker.”

Shneiderman was elected a Fellow of the Association for Computing in 1997and received a lifetime achievement award from the association in 2001. He was also named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001 and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. 

The Shneiderman lecture is hosted by the Virginia Tech Grant A. Dove Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering  Yue “Joseph” Wang,  

Seating is limited and an RSVP to Don Leo is required for the Arlington location. 

The other two scheduled lecturers in the Leaders in Science and Technology Seminar Series are retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Elder on March 14; and  David Lightfoot, director, Linguistics Department, Georgetown University, on April 3.