Visual Analytics Tools for Academic Advising


Riley Weagant, Christopher Collins, Taylor Smith, Michael Lombardo


Post secondary institutions have a wealth of student data at their disposal.  This data has recently been used to explore a problem that has been prevalent in the education domain for decades. Student retention is a complex issue that researchers are attempting to address using machine learning. This thesis describes our attempt to use academic data from Ontario Tech University to predict the likelihood of a student withdrawing from the university after their upcoming semester.  We used academic data collected between 2007 and 2011 to train a random forest model that predicts whether or not a student will dropout. Finally, we used the confidence level of the model’s prediction to represent a students ”likelihood of success”, which is displayed on a beeswarm plot as part of an application intended for use by academic advisors.


  • [IMG]
    M. Lombardo, R. Weagant, and C. Collins, “Exploratory Data Analysis on Student Retention,” , UOIT Student Research Showcase, 2017.
    [Bibtex] [PDF]

    author = {Michael Lombardo and Riley Weagant and Christopher Collins},
    title = {Exploratory Data Analysis on Student Retention},
    booktitle = {UOIT Student Research Showcase},
    year = 2017
  • [IMG]
    R. Weagant, T. Smith, and C. Collins, “Student Retention: A Data Driven Approach,” , UOIT Student Research Showcase, 2015.
    [Bibtex] [PDF]

    author = {Riley Weagant and Taylor Smith and Christopher Collins},
    title = {Student Retention: A Data Driven Approach},
    booktitle = {UOIT Student Research Showcase},
    year = 2015
  • [IMG]
    R. Weagant, “Supporting Student Success with Machine Learning and Visual Analytics,” Master Thesis, 2019.
    [Bibtex] [PDF]

        author = {Riley Weagant},
        title = {Supporting Student Success with Machine Learning and Visual Analytics},
        school =    {University of Ontario Institute of Technology},
        year = 2019


Learn, Generate, Rank, Explain: A Case Study of Visual Explanation by Generative Machine Learning

Professional Differences: A Comparative Study of Visualization Task Performance and Spatial Ability Across Disciplines

Card-IT: a Dynamic FSM-based Flashcard Generator for Learning Italian Verb Morphology

Visual Analytics Tools for Academic Advising

Érudit and Vialab Collaboration Projects

Academia is Tied in Knots

Tilt-Responsive Techniques for Digital Drawing Boards

Textension: Digitally Augmenting Document Spaces in Analog Texts

Eye Tracking for Target Acquisition in Sparse Visualizations

Guidance in the human–machine analytics process

H-Matrix: Hierarchical Matrix for Visual Analysis of Cross-Linguistic Features in Large Learner Corpora

A Visual Analytics Framework for Adversarial Text Generation

Design by Immersion: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Problem-Driven Visualizations

Semantic Concept Spaces: Guided Topic Model Refinement using Word-Embedding Projections

Discriminability Tests for Visualization Effectiveness and Scalability

Saliency Deficit and Motion Outlier Detection in Animated Scatterplots

ActiveInk: (Th)Inking with Data

Visual Analytics for Topic Model Optimization based on User-Steerable Speculative Execution

ThreadReconstructor: Modeling Reply-Chains to Untangle Conversational Text through Visual Analytics

Detecting Negative Emotion for Mixed Initiative Visual Analytics

EduApps – Supporting Non-Native English Speakers to Overcome Language Transfer Effects

Metatation: Annotation as Implicit Interaction to Bridge Close and Distant Reading

DataTours: A Data Narratives Framework

Perceptual Biases in Font Size as a Data Encoding

Progressive Learning of Topic Modeling Parameters: A Visual Analytics Framework

Abbreviating Text Labels on Demand

NEREx: Named-Entity Relationship Exploration in Multi-Party Conversations

ConToVi: Multi-Party Conversation Exploration using Topic-Space Views

PhysioEx: Visual Analysis of Physiological Event Streams

Using Visual Analytics of Heart Rate Variation to Aid in Diagnostics

Off-Screen Desktop


Reading Comprehension on Mobile Devices

#FluxFlow: Visual Analysis of Anomalous Information Spreading on Social Media

Balancing Clutter and Information in Large Hierarchical Visualizations

Lexichrome: Text Construction and Lexical Discovery with Word-Color Associations Using Interactive Visualization

SentimentState: Exploring Sentiment Analysis on Twitter

Facilitating Discourse Analysis with Interactive Visualization




Simple Multi-Touch Toolkit

Exploring Text Entities with Descriptive Non-photorealistic Rendering

Investigating the Semantic Patterns of Passwords

Bubble Sets: Revealing Set Relations with Isocontours over Existing Visualizations

Parallel Tag Clouds to Explore Faceted Text Corpora

VisLink: Revealing Relationships Amongst Visualizations

DocuBurst: Visualizing Document Content using Language Structure

Tabletop Text Entry Techniques

Lattice Uncertainty Visualization: Understanding Machine Translation and Speech Recognition

WordNet Visualization

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