IEEE VGTC VPG International Data-Visualization Contest
2015 Theme: Perceived vs. Actual Student Interest

Call for Participation, 2015

The IEEE VGTC VPG International Data-Visualization Contest
Contest Theme: Perceived vs. Actual Student Interest
Collaborator and Support: ACT, Inc.

DEADLINE: Friday, September 11, 2015 Extended to Monday, September 21, 2015

The IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee (VGTC) is sponsoring its second International Data-Visualization Contest to recognize outstanding design in visualization and visual analytics from around the world. The 2015 contest theme is “Perceived vs. Actual Student Interest.” The contest will be administrated by the IEEE Visualization Pioneers Group (VPG) under the auspices of IEEE VGTC and in collaboration with ACT, Inc. (ACT is a non-profit organization in the education readiness assessment sector.)  The awards will be announced at the IEEE VPG Reception to be held at the IEEE VIS 2015 conference. You are not required to attend either the VIS 2015 conference or the VPG reception to participate in the contest.

Contest Challenge: Perceived vs. Actual Student Interest

The importance of selecting and pursuing a major or career that fits a student’s interests and passions cannot be overstated. ACT’s research has shown that over time, students tend to declare the same or similar majors in their first year of college as their indicated planned major. However, ACT also has data regarding students’ measured—rather than self-reported—interests and has developed a “fit index” that can help accurately predict success based on their fit with selected or intended majors.

VPG’s contest challenge is to develop a visual representation of Interest Perceived vs. Actual data that helps to relate the complexities of how students’ measured interests match with their indicated plans, declared majors, or their persistence into their sophomore year. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Which majors are most affected by the influx/outflux of students?
  • Which majors have had an increase or decrease in measured interest over time?
  • Which majors have experienced differences in follow-through of students over time?

Interested parties can read relevant literature online, such as and start planning their contest entries.

Contest Data

Clarification to the description for the HighestLevel2 field: It is the category that contains the major that best fits the results of the student's interest inventory, which is taken only once. This field allows you to compare a student's high interest-major and the major they actually choose.


All visualization and visual analytics designers, developers, researchers, and practitioners from business, academia, and government sectors around the world are eligible to participate. Submissions cannot promote a commercial product.

Submission Limitation

Contestants may be lead author on no more than three submissions to the 2015 contest. They may be a co-author of any number of submissions.

Submission Deadline

Contest packets must be received by Friday, September 11, 2015 Extended to Monday, September 21, 2015 to qualify for the 2015 contest. Updates to submissions are accepted until the deadline.

Selection Procedure

All active IEEE VPG members who do not make a submission to the contest will be invited to participate in the first-round review. The top contest submissions from this first-round review will undergo a second round of reviews conducted by five distinguished IEEE VPG members representing different backgrounds, who will be chosen jointly by the VGTC and VPG chairs. The five-member selection committee will thoroughly review and assess the top contest submissions. The chair of the selection committee will submit his or her recommendation for best visualization to the IEEE VGTC chair by Friday, Oct 16, 2015.

Contest Award

Along with a certificate, VPG will give a check for $100 USD to the winner in each of the following categories:

  1. Most practical
  2. Most original
  3. One or more surprise categories in areas determined by the committee after reviewing the submissions.

Submissions will be considered in all categories and may win more than one award. Perhaps most importantly, winners in all categories will have a chance to see their work being applied to ACT’s data analysis, product development, and/or marketing/promotional efforts.

Submission Details

The 2015 contest accepts only static visualizations in the form of an image. Contest participants should email the submission package to The package must include:

  1. A pdf file that contains:
    1. Title of the data-visualization contest submission
    2. Name, affiliation, email address, and postal address of the participant
    3. A 200-300 word description of the visualization written in English
  2. A static visualization figure in jpg or png format.

The size of the total submission package must be less than 10MB. For questions, contact

Applicants will receive a reply e-mail confirming receipt of the entry within a few days of the submission.