Invited speakers


Nathalie Blanc

Nathalie Blanc is an associate professor at the University of Montpellier 3 (France), member of the laboratory Epsylon (E.A. 4556) and head of the Department of Psychology. Nathalie Blanc’s research program focuses on the comprehension abilities of both children and adults. One of her lines of research aims at improving our understanding of the way in which children learn to comprehend a story. To address this goal, she uses illustrated tales, but also cartoons and sequences of films. Nathalie Blanc is particularly interested in children’s ability to produce emotional and causal inferences during story comprehension. She also studies children’s capacity to identify and understand humorous passages. Her second line of work investigates the conditions that promote the comprehension processes of adults. The objective is to explore the way in which individuals update and revise their memory representation as they proceed through a story (narrative texts, news articles, films). Lastly, Nathalie Blanc’s work in progress involves the application of her research findings in the preventive health domain, more specifically by examining the efficiency of preventive health messages.



Sara Irina Fabrikant

Dr. Sara Irina Fabrikant is currently an Associate Professor of Geography and head of the Geographic Information Visualization and Analysis (GIVA) group in the GIScience Center at the Geography Department of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Her research and teaching interests lie in geographic information visualization and visual analytics (geovis), GIScience and cognition, graphical user interface design and evaluation, including dynamic cartography. She was awarded a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship to study Geographic Information Science for one academic year at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1993. She is the current elected chair of the International Cartographic Association's Cognitive Visualization Commission. She publishes in a variety of GIScience/geovis related journals and is currently a member of the Editorial Boards of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Cartographica, Cartographic Perspectives, Computers Environment and Urban Systems, Journal of Spatial Information Science, Revue Internationale de Géomatique, and Transactions in GIS, in addition to her Program Committee memberships for various international GIScience/geovis related conferences (e.g., GIScience, COSIT, InfoVis (UK), etc.). She has been the Program Committee Chair of the GIScience 2010 conference. She has made various presentations at national and international professional meetings, including invited keynotes and other lectures at universities in North America, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand. Other service includes memberships of the Association of American Geographers, the International Cartographic Association’s Commission on Geovisualization, the North American Cartographic Information Society, and the Swiss Society of Cartography.


Neil Schwartz

Dr. Schwartz is Full Professor of Psychology at the California State University-Chico. He earned his Ph.D. from Arizona State University specializing in learning, cognition, and instruction. His research focuses on the cognitive and emotional mechanisms underlying learning, comprehension, and decision-making from graphics. He has presented and published over 200 papers targeting metacognition and the way visualizations should be designed and deployed in applied settings. He consults with corporations and law firms as a cognitive visualization expert, and serves on the scientific review boards of Computers and Human Behavior, Journal of Educational and Computing Research, and QWERTY: Journal of Technology and Culture. He is co-chair of the International Research Committee for Division C of the American Educational Research Association; Past President of the National Consortium for Instruction and Cognition; Past Board Member of the Virtual Design Center of NASA's Classroom of the Future; and founder and Director of the International Graduate Research Exchange (IGRE), a consortium of laboratories providing graduate research apprenticeships in Austria, Cyprus, France, Germany, and Italy. Dr. Schwartz teaches advanced human learning, visualization processes III, and supervises research within the International Cognitive Visualization (ICV) program, a 2-year dual master’s degree program awarded from the Pierre-Mendès-France University of Grenoble, France and the California State University-Chico, USA in association with the University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany. The program receives funding by the Atlantis program for EU-US co-operation in higher education and training.