Submission Guidelines

Who May enter?

This contest is open to people in all disciplines at Tufts who are creating visualizations as  part of scholarly activities taking place at Tufts.  This includes:

  • Tufts faculty working on Tufts based work
  • Students working with Tufts faculty on Tufts based work
  • Staff if conducting scholarly activities as part of their Tufts responsibilities

What Qualifies as a Visualization?

A visualization transforms knowledge that is non-visible into a visual representation.  Knowledge can be non-visual due to such factors as size, distance, wavelength, abstraction etc.  A visualization is therefore a mapping between some non-visible knowledge and the visual space.  Since there are an infinite number of such mappings for a given knowledge, what makes for a good visualization is the artistic selection to maximize the efficiency by which the information is conveyed.

Entries can be submitted from all disciplines in three different program categories – Photography and Illustration, Video and Animation, and Software.  In order for an entry to qualify, it must transform some non-visual knowledge into a visual representation and have been produced as part of scholarly activities taking place at Tufts.

If the entry is capturing information through a photograph without any effort to transform that information in a way that communicates some knowledge, then the knowledge is not being visualized and the entry does not qualify.

If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact us at vis-awards@tufts.edu.

Submission Guidelines

Entrants must submit a completed entry form along with their entry in one of the 3 categories that are outlined below:  Photography and Illustration, Video and Animation, and Software. Only one entry may be submitted per category.  However, a contributor may choose to submit additional entries in different categories.
Submitted materials must:

  • Be from Tufts based scholarly work
  • Use visualization to communicate scholarly information
  • Have been created in the last 3 years during the person’s tenure at Tufts
  • Have not been previously submitted to the competition
  • Be copyright compliant
  • Be of a resolution NO MORE THAN 4096 x 2160 which is viswall resolution

On the entry form, you will need to include a short abstract (less than 150 words) which should address the following:

  • The research context to help the judges understand what they are looking at in the visualization (i.e. frog embryo at 100X magnification)
  • How the visualization transforms non-visible knowledge into a visual representation

Software entries also need to submit a short user guide/script for the judges that outlines how to use the software.

Visualization Categories

1.  Photography and Illustrations

Photography includes film or digital photographs and photomicrographs, as well as images from sensors, microscopes, telescopes and similar instruments both in 2D or 3D.  The photograph must visualize something that can’t be easily seen with the naked eye or capture an object, process or phenomenon.

Photographs can be submitted in any generally used PC-compatible image format such as TIFF, BMP, JPEG, etc., in non-compressed form.

See examples of past photography winners.

Illustrations can be hand-designed or computer-assisted illustrations and drawings produced to conceptualize the unseen or recreate an object, process or phenomenon. Illustrations submitted to the competition may be 2D or 3D.

See examples of past illustrations winners.

2.  Video and Animation

Videos incorporate hand-designed or computer-assisted illustrations, graphics, photographs, and text into moving images that depict an object, process or phenomenon, or depict the natural world.  Digital formats such as QuickTime, Flash, AVI, MPEG or WMV are acceptable.

The judging committee will be focusing their judging on 5 minutes of your video, so when you submit your entry form, please indicate the starting time-stamp (in min:sec) for the 5-min video excerpt you would like the judges to focus on.

See examples of past videos winners.

3.  Software

Software includes all kinds of interactive tools that can be used to visualize data. In addition to a caption statement that describes the type of visualizations that the software can produce, participants must include detailed instructions about how to use the tool.  Finally, we encourage all software entries to be easy to use.

Judges will evaluate your entry by using your software for 5 minutes maximum.  Therefore, please be sure to submit the short user guide/script requested above to guide the judges in the use of your software. Please note that this year videos of software demonstrations will not be accepted.

We will accept either web-based software that runs on Firefox (14 and later), Chrome (22 and later), Safari (6 or later), desktop-based software that runs on Windows 7, Max OS X (10.7 and later) or Red Hat Enterprise Linux (5.5 and later).

Since providing jury members with access to the software may take some time, people submitting in this category need to send us an email at vis-awards@tufts.edu by January 1 so that we may contact you to discuss your software submission.

Questions?

Contact: vis-awards@tufts.edu