Alexander Bock

Assistant Professor

Kopparhammaren 2, Entrance 10B, Room 2033, Campus Norrköping

Background

2019 -Lecturer, Linköping University
2019 - 2020Research Fellow, SCI Institute University of Utah
2017 - 2018Moore-Sloan Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, New York University
2015Visiting Research Scholar, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
2011 - 2018Ph.D in Visualization and Interaction, Linköping University. Thesis: Tailoring Visualization Applications for Tasks and Users
2005 - 2010Diploma work in Computer Science (Minor: Applied Physics), University of Münster, Germany. Thesis: Volume Fusion and Material-based Techniques for Multimodal Visualization

Research Interests

My research interests have always focused on creating visualization applications and algorithms that provide insight for the largest possible number of people. On the one side, there are expert domain scientists that utilize these applications to gain insight into their datasets and either generate new hypotheses or test previously generated theories for a specific dataset. On the other side, visualization applications can be used as an expressive storytelling tool aimed at the general public.

In my PhD thesis I classified these into “Exploration”, which are applications where users perform an initial investigation of a new dataset in order to arrive at these novel hypotheses, “Analysis”, where an already established technique is repeatedly applied to a larger number of datasets as a means of confirming a specific hypotheses for a particular case. The last layer is “Communication” that covers the use case of disseminating research findings to a wider public audience.

The majority of my research work so far has been concerning astronomical and astrophysical phenomenæ, in particular in the development of the open-source software OpenSpace. In addition to using OpenSpace as a platform for computer graphics research, such as order-independent transparency methods and developing techniques for handling large scale differences in scenes, OpenSpace has served as a platform for three research projects aimed at both scientists and the general public.

One example is the development of tools for the analysis of time-varying volumetric simulations of space weather for the Community Coordinated Modeling Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. This application provides an analysis tool for the researchers to compare ensembles of simulations quickly and reliably in order to improve the predictive power of these simulation codes. Parts of this application were later merged into OpenSpace to be used during public presentations by the scientists to public audiences.

A second example is the visualization of space missions, such as New Horizons, Rosetta, or Osiris Rex. A third project is concerned with the high-resolution rendering of planetary surfaces. Centimeter-resolution images are available for large parts of Earth, the Moon, and Mars and are used in this project to provide an accurate and realistic surface context. While the environments can be used in public presentations directly, their main power comes from the usage when visualizing surface operations. In the case of Mars, this is the visualization of rover operations. In the case of the Moon, it is, for example, the dissemination of the Apollo moon missions.

Earth fjord.png
An example of surface rendering as presented in the GlobeBrowsing paper.

Awards

2017Best Scientific Visualization Paper
2015Best Scientific Visualization Poster
2014Best Scientific Visualization Poster

Personal webpage

http://alexanderbock.eu

Publications

Reaching Broad Audiences from a Science Center or Museum Setting A. Ynnerman, P. Ljung, A. Bock Foundations of Data Visualization, 2020
Unwind: Interactive Fish Straightening F. Williams, A. Bock, H. Doraiswamy, C. Donatelli, K. Hall, A. Summers, D. Panozzo, C. Silva CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2020
Visualizing a Billion Stars for Science and Education J. Faherty, B. Abbott, A. Alsegård, C. Emmart, A. Bock, E. Axelsson, A. Ynnerman, M. Acinapura American Astronomical Society meeting #235, 2020
Interactive Visualization of Atmospheric Effects for Celestial Bodies J. Costa, A. Bock, C. Emmart, C. Hansen, A. Ynnerman, C. Silva IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2020
OpenSpace: A System for Astrographics A. Bock, E. Axelsson, J. Costa, G. Payne, M. Acinapura, V. Trakinski, C. Emmart, C. Silva, C. Hansen, A. Ynnerman IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2020

This paper describes how OpenSpace meets these challenges in an open source effort thatis paving the path for the next generation of interactive astrographics.

IDEAS: Immersive Dome Experiences for Accelerating Science J. Faherty, M. SubbaRao, R. Wyatt, A. Ynnerman, N. deGrasse Tyson, A. Geller, M. Weber, P. Rosenfield, W. Steffen, G. Stoeckle, D. Weiskopf, M. Magnor, P. Williams, B. Abbott, L. Marchetti, T. Jarrett, J. Fay, J. Peek, O. Graur, P. Durrell, D. Homeier, H. Preston, T. Müller, J. Vos, D. Brown, P. Giorla, E. Rice, D. Bardalez Gagliuffi, A. Bock, J. Hedberg, D. Rosen, C. Emmart ASTRO 2020 White Paper, 2019
Tailoring visualization applications for tasks and users A. Bock PhD Thesis, 2018
OpenSpace: Bringing NASA Missions to the Public A. Bock, C. Hansen, A. Ynnerman IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, 2018
OpenSpace: Changing the Narrative of Public Dissemination in Astronomical Visualization from What to How A. Bock, E. Axelsson, C. Emmart, M. Kuznetsova, C. Hansen, A. Ynnerman IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, 2018
Globe Browsing in OpenSpace K. Bladin, A. Bock, A. Ynnerman Computer, 2018
TopoAngler: Interactive Topology-based Extraction of Fishes A. Bock, H. Doraiswamy, A. Summers, C. Silva IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2017
OpenSpace: An Open-Source Astrovisualization Framework A. Bock, E. Axelsson, K. Bladin, J. Costa, G. Payne, M. Territo, J. Kilby, M. Kuznetsova, C. Emmart, A. Ynnerman Journal of Open-Source Software, 2017
Globe Browsing: Contextualized Spatio-Temporal Planetary Surface Visualization K. Bladin, E. Axelsson, E. Broberg, C. Emmart, P. Ljung, A. Bock, A. Ynnerman IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2017 Best Scientific Visualization Paper
Dynamic Scene Graph: Enabling Scaling, Positioning, and Navigation in the Universe E. Axelsson, J. Costa, C. Silva, C. Emmart, A. Bock, A. Ynnerman Computer Graphics Forum, 2017
A Visualization-Based Analysis System for Urban Search & Rescue Mission Planning Support A. Bock, Å. Svensson, A. Kleiner, J. Lundberg, T. Ropinski Computer Graphics Forum, 2016 Invited Paper
Hybrid Data Visualization Based On Depth Complexity Histogram Analysis S. Lindholm, M. Falk, E. Sundén, A. Bock, A. Ynnerman, T. Ropinski Computer Graphics Forum, 2015
Shocks in unmagnetized plasma with a shear flow: Stability and magnetic field generation M. Dieckmann, A. Bock, H. Ahmed, D. Doria, G. Sarri, A. Ynnerman, M. Borghesi Physics of Plasmas, 2015
OpenSpace: An Open-Source Framework for Data Visualization and Contextualization A. Bock, A. Pembroke, M.L. Mays, A. Ynnerman Abstracts at American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, 2015
Visual Verification of Space Weather Ensemble Simulations A. Bock, A. Pembroke, M.L. Mays, L. Rastaetter, A. Ynnerman, T. Ropinski IEEE Vis, 2015
OpenSpace: Public Dissemination of Space Mission Profiles A. Bock, M. Marcinkowski, J. Kilby, C. Emmart, A. Ynnerman IEEE Vis Poster Session, 2015 Best Scientific Visualization Poster
Interaction Techniques as a Communication Channel when Presenting 3D Visualizations E. Sundén, A. Bock, D. Jönsson, A. Ynnerman, T. Ropinski IEEE VIS International Workshop on 3DVis, 2014
VCMass: A Framework for Verification of Coronal Mass Ejection Ensemble Simulations A. Bock, M.L. Mays, L. Rastaetter, A. Ynnerman, T. Ropinksi IEEE Vis Poster Session, 2014 Best Scientific Visualization Poster
Supporting Urban Search & Rescue Mission Planning through Visualization-Based Analysis A. Bock, A. Kleiner, J. Lundberg, T. Ropinski Vision, Modeling, and Visualization, 2014
An Interactive Visualization System for Urban Search & Rescue Mission Planning A. Bock, A. Kleiner, J. Lundberg, T. Ropinski International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics, 2014
Poor Man’s Rendering Of Segmented Data S. Lindholm, A. Bock SIGRAD, 2013
Guiding Deep Brain Stimulation Interventions by Fusing Multimodal Uncertainty Regions A. Bock, N. Lang, G. Evangelista, R. Lehrke, T. Ropinski Pacific Visualization, 2013
Interactive Urban Search & Rescue Planning A. Bock, A. Kleiner, T. Ropinksi Excellence Centre at Linköping-Lund in Information Technology, 2013
Interactive Visualization of Space Weather Data M. Törnros, D. Berrios, A. Bock, C. Emmart, R. Harberts, A. Ynnerman Abstracts at American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, 2012
Deriving and Visualizing Uncertainty in Kinetic PET Modeling K. T. Nguyen, A. Bock, A. Ynnerman, T. Ropinski Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine, 2012
GPU-Accelerated Direct Volume Rendering of Finite Element Data Sets B. Liu, A. Bock, T. Ropinski, M. Nash, P. Nielsen, B. Wuensche Conference on Image and Vision Computing New Zealand, 2012
Coherency-Based Curve Compression for High-Order Finite Element Model Visualization A. Bock, E. Sundén, L. Bingchen, B. Wuensche, T. Ropinski IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2012
Supporting Deep Brain Stimulation Interventions by Fusing Microelectrode Recordings with Imaging Data A. Bock, N. Lang, G. Evangelista, R. Lehrke, T. Ropinski Visual Computing for Biology and Medicine, 2012