Post image for Visualizing human communication

Visualizing human communication

February 11, 2014

IU Bloomington information scientist Katy Börner walked the red carpet at this year’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences as producer of Humanexus, an animated, 12 1/2-minute semi-documentary film that “visualizes human communication from the Stone Age to today and beyond.” The award-winning film was part of Mapping the Unseen, a showcase of science-related films sponsored by AAAS and Imagine Science Films. 

“The movie is the result of a unique collaboration between information scientists here at IU, with designer and artist Ying-Fang Shen and sound artist Norbert Herber,” says Börner, who is Victor H. Yngve Professor of information science at the School of Informatics and Computing and director of the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center. Shen is a former IU School of Fine Arts associate instructor and Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center visiting artist who is now an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Herber is a lecturer in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Telecommunications.

Considered an international expert on information visualization — her MIT Press textbook Visual Insights is an Amazon bestseller — Börner also will join representatives of the U.S. State Department, the National Science Foundation, Stanford University, and others for the symposium, “U.S. Looks to the Global Science, Technology and Innovation Horizon.” Specifically, she’ll present on the topic, “The Use of Knowledge Mapping in International STI Horizon Scanning.”

“We’re combining our expertise in developing algorithms and tools for knowledge mapping and in international science policy to describe the state-of-the-art tools available to understand knowledge distributions, networks and science futures, and how different countries and groups have used or might use such tools in their science planning, policy and investment,” Börner says of the research.

Watch a trailer for Humanexus: