Publication statistics

Pub. period:2010-2014
Pub. count:4
Number of co-authors:1


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Gideon Baldridge:



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Ronald A. Rensink's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Gideon Baldridge:1

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Ronald A. Rensink

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Current place of employment:
University of British Columbia

I am interested in vision-the various ways that humans, animals, and computers use light to see. I believe that vision involves constraints that apply to any system, and that the most successful visual systems are based on very general information-processing strategies. As such, my approach is to examine biological systems (including humans) to see how they operate, and then to look at these mechanisms from a computational point of view to see if they embody more general principles. Among other things, these more general principles can provide a scientific basis for the design of visual interfaces that can interact with human visual systems in an optimal way.

My research interests include:

1. Human vision
  • what is attention, and how does it operate?
  • what is space, and how do we represent it?
  • what are objects, and how do we represent them?
  • how are scenes represented?
  • 2. Computational vision
  • how do "quick and dirty" processes reduce time requirements?
  • what are the trade-offs for various kinds of representations?
  • what are the physical limits of visual perception?
  • are there universal principles for all vision systems?
  • 3. Information visualization
  • what is the basis of effective design in visual displays?
  • how can visual interfaces be designed so as to be "transparent" to the user?
  • how can data be represented so that our visual intelligence can pick out interesting patterns?
  • how can visual analytics systems be designed to allow the user to easily analyze immense amounts of data?

    Publications by Ronald A. Rensink (bibliography)

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    Rensink, Ronald A. (2014). Commentary on 'Data Visualization for Human Perception' by Stephen Few

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    Rensink, Ronald A. (2011): The Management of Visual Attention in Graphic Displays. In: Roda, Claudia (ed.). "Human Attention in Digital Environments". Cambridge University Presspp. 63-92

    This chapter presents an overview of several recent developments in vision science, and outlines some of their implications for the management of visual attention in graphic displays. These include ways of sending attention to the right item at the right time, techniques to improve attentional efficiency, and possibilities for offloading some of the processing typically done by attention onto nonattentional mechanisms. In addition it is argued that such techniques not only allow more effective use to be made of visual attention, but also open up new possibilities for human-machine interaction.

    © All rights reserved Rensink and/or Cambridge University Press

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    Rensink, Ronald A. and Baldridge, Gideon (2010): The perception of correlation in scatterplots. In Computer Graphics Forum, 29 pp. 1203-1210.

    We present a rigorous way to evaluate the visual perception of correlation in scatterplots, based on classical psychophysical methods originally developed for simple properties such as brightness. Although scatterplots are graphically complex, the quantity they convey is relatively simple. As such, it may be possible to assess the perception of correlation in a similar way. Scatterplots were each of 5.0 degrees extent, containing 100 points with a bivariate normal distribution. Means were 0.5 of the range of the points, and standard deviations 0.2 of this range. Precision was determined via an adaptive algorithm to find the just noticeable differences (jnds) in correlation, i.e., the difference between two side-by-side scatterplots that could be discriminated 75% of the time. Accuracy was measured by direct estimation, using reference scatterplots with fixed upper and lower values, with a test scatterplot adjusted so that its correlation appeared to be halfway between these. This process was recursively applied to yield several further estimates. Results of the discrimination tests show jnd(r) = k (1/b - r), where r is the Pearson correlation, and parameters 0 < k, b < 1. Integration yields a subjective estimate of correlation g(r) = ln(1 - br) / ln(1 - b). The values of b found via discrimination closely match those found via direct estimation. As such, it appears that the perception of correlation in a scatterplot is completely described by two related performance curves, specified by two easily-measured parameters.

    © All rights reserved Rensink and Baldridge and/or Blackwell

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    Rensink, Ronald A. (2010): Seeing Seeing. In Psyche, 6 pp. 68-78.

    This paper discusses several key issues concerning consciousness and human vision. A brief overview is presented of recent developments in this area, including issues that have been resolved and issues that remain unsettled. Based on this, three Hilbert questions are proposed. These involve three related sets of issues: the kinds of visual experience that exist, the kinds of visual attention that exist, and the ways that these relate to each other.

    © All rights reserved Rensink and/or his/her publisher

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