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CANCELED: Natural and Social Sciences Colloquium: ‘Thinking with Visualizations, Fast and Slow’

Time: 4:00pm - 5:15pm CDT March 16

Location: Niemann Media Theater, Hedberg Library

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event has been canceled. For more information, visit

Don’t miss “Thinking with Visualizations, Fast and Slow,” a seminar presented by Steven Franconeri, professor of psychology and Cognitive Science Program director at Northwestern University.

People’s visual systems evolved and developed to process the scenes, faces, and objects of the natural world. Humans then adapt that same system to process the artificial worlds of graphs, diagrams, and data visualizations. This adaptation can lead alternatively to fast and powerful — or deeply slow and inefficient — visual processing. Prof. Franconeri will demonstrate these capacity limits using interactive visual tasks, especially those limits that arise when we extract structure and meaning from artificial displays. Understanding these constraints leads to guidelines for STEM pedagogy and display design, and opens new questions for basic research on visual thinking.

About Steven Franconeri 
Steven Franconeri is a professor of psychology at Northwestern University and director of the Northwestern Cognitive Science Program. His research is on visual thinking, visual communication, and the psychology of data visualization. He directs the Visual Thinking Laboratory, in which a team of researchers explore the power and limits of your visual system, and how better design and pedagogy can help students and scientists understand and use visual representations across paper, screens, and their imagination.


Division of Natural and Social Sciences


Anthony Barnhart, 

By: Anthony Barnhart

  • Steven Franconeri

Location: Niemann Media Theater, Hedberg Library