lm (at) di.ku.dk
+45 93509153
Human-Centered Computing
Department of Computer Science
University of Copenhagen
Office 21.2.41
Karen Blixens vej 1, Building 21, Floor 2
DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark
Find on map


Research Interests

Broad research interests: information visualization and visual analytics at the intersection of data science and human-computer interaction.
In particular, visualization design and layout using computational and model-based methods based on principles of human perception and cognition to optimize the visualization for the human user. Also, visualization of set-typed data, uncertainty, and biological data.
My work aims to synthesize theories of perceptual and cognitive psychology, models of human-computer interaction and algorithms of computer graphics and machine learning into novel mathematically functions that predict the effectiveness of a visualization design (example).
Using principles from other domains, I would like to devise novel visualization techniques and visual analytics systems that can achieve an effective balance between automation and human input to support the user in reasoning about large information spaces.

Open Positions and Supervision

I am always eager to work with motivated and creative students (PhD, MSc, BSc), who are keen on conducting data visualization research.
Send me an email with your: (i) up-to-date CV; (ii) diploma and full up-to-date transcripts of records, including courses you are currently taking; (iii) a statement indicating why you think I would be the right supervisor for your research work and how our interests align; (iv) questions


2018/19   Block 2,   Master Degree Level:    NDAK16009U Visualization (Vis)


I am a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Information Visualization at the Human-Centred Computing (HCC) Section of the
Department of Computer Science (DIKU) at the University of Copenhagen (as from August 1, 2018). I am involved in a number of interdisciplinary projects dealing with real-world application problems. For example, I am leading the visualization research in BIOPRO to improve biotech production in Denmark. I am also a visiting research fellow in the School of Computing at the University of Kent.
Before joining DIKU, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT), working at both Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. During my postdoc, I worked on a number of interdisciplinary projects with Prof Samuel Kaski (probabilistic machine learning), Prof Antti Oulasvirta (computational user interface design and interactive AI), Prof Giulio Jacucci (ubiquitous interaction), Prof Jukka Corander (biostatistics), and Prof Tino Weinkauf (topological data analysis and visualization). The projects were carried out in collaboration with international institutions, such as the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) and Wellcome Sanger Institute. My postdoc university profile here.
I completed my PhD in the School of Computing of the University of Kent, and later worked as a Research Fellow in the same School. My PhD thesis, titled 'Visualizing Set Relations and Cardinalities Using Venn and Euler Diagrams', was commended as a 2016 CPHC/BCS Academy of Computing Distinguished Dissertations runner-up, awarded at the prestigious BCS Roger Needham Award Lecture (press). More about my PhD work on my University of Kent webpage.

Full Publication List

Refer to my profile in     Scholar.

Latest Research

Luana Micallef, Tatiana von Landesberger, Carla C. Schubert, Sheelagh Carpendale, John Stasko, Niklas Elmqvist, G. Elisabeta Marai, Helwig Hauser, Daniel Archambault (2018). Succeeding by Failing: The Iceberg in VIS Careers. IEEE VIS 2018 Panel and Follow-up Meetup.

 At IEEE VIS 2018

  Panel and meetup webpage
Andrea Bellucci, Andrea Vianello, Yves Florack, Luana Micallef, Giulio Jacucci (2018). Augmenting objects at home through programmable sensor tokens: a design journey. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, in press.

  DOI link
Iiris Sundin*, Tomi Peltola*, Luana Micallef, Homayun Afrabandpey, Marta Soare, Muntasir Mamun Majumder, Pedram Daee, Chen He, Baris Serim, Aki Havulinna, Caroline Heckman, Giulio Jacucci, Pekka Marttinen, Samuel Kaski (2018). Improving genomics-based predictions for precision medicine through active elicitation of expert knowledge. Bioinformatics, 34(13) : i395–i403. *equal contributions

 Presented at ISMB 2018

  DOI link
Rita Borgo*, Luana Micallef*, Benjamin Bach, Fintan McGee,
Bongshin Lee (2018). Information Visualization Evaluation
Using Crowdsourcing.
Computer Graphics Forum, 37(3) : 573-595.
*equal contributions, authors in no particular order

 Presented at EG/VGTC EuroVis 2018

  Project webpage,   DOI link
Luana Micallef, Gregorio Palmas, Antti Oulasvirta, Tino Weinkauf (2017). Towards Perceptual Optimization of the Visual Design of Scatterplots. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 23(6) :

  Best Paper Honorable Mention Award at IEEE PacificVis 2017

  Project webpage,   DOI link
PDF (3.9MB), Supplementary Material (22MB)
Chen He, Luana Micallef, Zia-Ur-Rehman Tanoli, Samuel Kaski, Tero Aittokallio, Giulio Jacucci (2017). MediSyn: Uncertainty-aware Visualization of Multiple Biomedical Datasets to Support Drug Treatment Selection. BMC Bioinformatics, 18(Suppl 10) : 393.

  DOI link,  PDF (1.5MB),   Video
  MediSyn Online Application (use Google Chrome)
Luana Micallef*, Iiris Sundin*, Pekka Marttinen*, Muhammad Ammad-ud-din, Tomi Peltola, Marta Soare, Giulio Jacucci, Samuel Kaski (2017). Interactive Elicitation of Knowledge on Feature Relevance Improves Predictions in Small Data Sets. Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI 2017). *equal contributions

  DOI link
PDF + Supplementary Material (1.3MB)
Khalil Klouche, Tukka Ruotsalo, Luana Micallef, Salvatore Andolina, Giulio Jacucci (2017). Visual Re-Ranking for Multi-Aspect Information Retrieval. Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Conference Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (CHIIR 2017).

  DOI link
Kumaripaba Athukorala, Luana Micallef, Chao An, Aki Reijonen, Jaakko Peltonen, Tuukka Ruotsalo, Giulio Jacucci (2017). Visualizing Activity Traces to Support Collaborative Literature Searching. Proceedings the 10th Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction (VINCI 2017).

  DOI link
Rita Borgo*, Bongshin Lee*, Benjamin Bach*, Sara Fabrikant*,
Radu Jianu*, Andreas Kerren*, Stephen Kobourov*, Fintan McGee*,
Luana Micallef*, Tatiana von Landesberger*, Katrin Ballweg*, Stephan Diehl*, Paolo Simonetto*, Michelle Zhou* (2017). *equal contributions
Crowdsourcing for Information Visualization: Promises and Pitfalls.
In Daniel Archambault, Tobias Hoßfeld, and Helen Purchase (eds), Evaluation in the Crowd: Crowdsourcing and Human-Centred Experiments, LNCS 10264, Springer, ISBN: 978-3-319-66434-7.

  DOI link

Copyright © 2014-2019, Luana Micallef. All rights reserved.

Last updated: January 18, 2019