About

I am a Research & Development Engineer on Microsoft's Power BI team in Redmond, Washington. You can reach me at [first].[last]@microsoft.com, or tweet @yelperalp.

My research interests lie in harnessing the power of data visualization and its applications to various problem domains, particularly concentrating on harnessing summary visualizations to understand and navigate datasets at scale (in size and dimensions).

I was a graduate student in the Computer Sciences department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Michael Gleicher (graphics) was my advisor during my time at Wisconsin! My graduate work has involved visualizing the binding interfaces of proteins to ligand substrates, visualizing overviews of large datasets and supporting identification and comparison tasks using WebGL, as well as visualizing co-occurrences of mutations on virus genomes. I am actively working toward creating generative and descriptive understanding of the design of summary visualizations, looking at how summaries are designed with respect to characteristics of the data and analyst task.

My thesis, «Targeting Designs of Scalable, Exploratory Summary Visualizations» is available online (48 MB). Chapter 3 is also available stand-alone. The official version is available online via ProQuest.

I did my undergraduate work at the University of Washington in Seattle. In five years there, I gained a bachelors degree in both Computer Science and Chemistry (ACS certification). My primary research advisor was Dave Bacon (currently at Google) in the area of quantum computation. Before coming to Madison, I spent two years at Microsoft working on their telemetry-gathering systems. Yes, sending your crash reports gets those kernel-crashes fixed!

For a more formal description of me, my CV is available.