Informatics Seminar Series
Winter Quarter 2024

Friday, March 8, 2024

“Unseen Insights: Empowering Autonomous Data Science by, with, and for Blind People”

JooYoung Seo
Assistant Professor
School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract:
Data visualization is a powerful tool for understanding complex data but is often inaccessible to blind people. In this talk, Dr. JooYoung Seo will share his autographic and interdependent research journey in developing a multimodal access and interactive data representation (MAIDR) system. He will discuss how his desire to explore data visualization as a blind researcher led him to initiate the visual-agnostic, open-source MAIDR project and how he has been working with other blind people to understand their data exploration challenges and collaboratively improve the MAIDR system.

Bio:
Dr. JooYoung Seo is an assistant professor in the School of Information Sciences, faculty affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and faculty affiliate at Informatics Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Seo is also an RStudio double-certified data science instructor and accessibility expert certified by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. As an information and learning scientist, his research bridges the gap between learnability and usability to enhance accessibility. His research topics broadly cover accessible computing, inclusive data science, and equitable healthcare technologies, with a particular focus on making computational literacy more accessible to people with disabilities through multimodal data representation.

His research receives support from national institutes, industrial partners, and academic societies, including the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) early-career grant, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), Posit Software, PBC (formerly RStudio), Teach Access, the International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS), and the Wallace Foundation. Dr. Seo earned his PhD in Learning, Design, and Technology from the Pennsylvania State University and holds dual BA degrees in Education and English Literature from Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea.

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