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Young Researcher Award 2019 – Benjamin Bach

Benjamin Bach obtained his PhD in 2014 from the Université Paris Sud where he worked in the Aviz Group at INRIA. The PhD thesis entitled “Connections, Changes, and Cubes: Unfolding Dynamic Networks for Visual Exploration” got an honorable mention at the IEEE VGTC VPG Doctoral Dissertation Award. In 2015 Benjamin was visiting researcher at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research. He has been a PostDoc at Harvard University (Visual Computing Group), Monash University, as well as the Microsoft-Research INRIA Joint Centre. In 2017 Benjamin joined the University of Edinburgh where he is currently a Lecturer in Design Informatics and Visualization.

Benjamin’s research designs and investigates interactive information visualization interfaces to help people explore, communicate, and understand data. His research in information visualization is very broad and encompasses network visualization, visualization of spatio-temporal data, data-driven storytelling, visualization in augmented and virtual reality (immersive analytics), nondigital visualization, and teaching and learning visualization. His influential and very original contributions include novel visualization strategies either for specific data (dynamic networks), using novel narrative strategies (data-driven storytelling, data comics), or using advanced display hardware (AR/VR). He is producing excellent research that is backed up with user studies. Recently Benjamin involves himself intensively in applying comics to tell stories about data. Comics are an entertaining and familiar medium, where Benjamin is strongly contributing to enable visualization authoring tools to leverage the expressive power of this communication channel, e.g., designing comic storyboarding tools for presenting dynamic networks.

Benjamin is publishing at an impressive rate, for example with three IEEE TVCG papers in both 2017 and 2018, and one already in 2019. He is also strongly present in the HCI community, for example with several contributions at CHI 2019. Many of his very well cited papers are published in IEEE TVCG, EuroVis, Computer Graphics Forum, and CHI. He is active and highly visible in our and neighboring research communities, for example as ACM CHI Paper Associate Chair, IEEE InfoVis Program Committee member, IEEE VAST Program Committee member, and TransImage Conference Co-chair, all in 2018.  A research highlight of Benjamin’s career is the 2018 Capital Grant from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) “VisHub: A Collaborative Data Visualization Space for Interdisciplinary Research, Teaching, and Public Engagement”. He has already received various awards for his innovative research work. He is internationally very well connected and publishes with a wide variety of top experts in the field. Eurographics is pleased to recognize Benjamin Bach with the 2019 Young Researcher Award.