Steering Committee

The Diagrams steering committee contains experts from a variety of backgrounds, reflecting the multi-disciplinary nature of the conference.

The Steering Committee is responsible for:

  • choosing the chairs, and location, of Diagrams conferences
  • providing guidance to Diagrams conference organizers, on topics such as the reviewing process
  • publicizing the conference to diverse communities
  • maintaining the Diagrams series website and mailing list
  • financial aspects of the conference series
  • maintaining the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee membership is as follows:

  • In each even numbered year, the General Chair, Senior Program Chair, Co-Program Chairs and Local Chairs of the current Diagrams conference are invited to join the Steering Committee immediately after the conference has run.
  • In each odd numbered year, the Steering Committee will hold an election for one elected place. Nominations should be made, and seconded, by the members of the Steering Committee or the most recent Program Committee (i.e. from the previous year). It is the responsibility of the nominator to ensure that the nominee is willing to stand for election. Self-nominations are not permitted. If no nominations are received then no election will take place. The electorate comprises the current Steering Committee and the Program Committee members of the most recent conference. The elected place shall be filled by single transferrable vote. In the event of a tie, the Steering Committee Chair has the casting vote.
  • In each odd numbered year, the Steering Committee has the right to co-opt up to one person to join the Steering Committee. The choice of co-opted person, if any, will be made to ensure that the right balance of expertise and experience is held by the Steering Committee. Normally, this person will be selected from the most recent Program Committees.
  • For the above all terms are for six years and multiple terms are permitted.
  • One member of the Steering Committee will be assigned by the Steering Committee Chair to direct the online presence, duties to include maintaining the conference series’ web site and mailing list.

Term and Election Process for the Steering Committee Chair:

  1. A member of the Steering Committee shall be elected as Chair immediately after the conference has been held. They will hold the position for four years and until the completion of the election for a new Chair. The election is to take place immediately after the last Diagrams conference during their tenure. Their term of membership on the Steering Committee is automatically extended for another two years after the end of their tenure as Chair.
  2. The existing chair shall be responsible for seeking nominations for the position of chair and for running the election, unless they are nominated, in which case they should seek another member of the steering committee to run the election. Self-nominations are permitted. Nominators are responsible for ensuring nominees wish to be nominated.
  3. The electorate comprises the current Steering Committee. Voting is by single transferable vote. In the event of a tie, the current Chair will get the casting vote but may not at that stage vote for themselves.
  4. If the Chair leaves the position during their tenure, then this will trigger an election for a new Chair who will hold the position until two Diagrams conferences have been completed during their role.

19 October 2021

Steering Committee Members

The current members are all listed below, together with the dates of their current term.

Amirouche Moktefi (Steering Committee Chair) (2018-2026)

I am a Lecturer in Philosophy and member of the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance at Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. My areas of interest include the history of logic diagrams. I also study the role of diagrams in mathematical reasoning. In particular, I approach diagrams as scientific instruments and I investigate the role of imagination and rules in their construction and manipulation.

Amrita Basu (2021 – 2027)

I am the Director of the School of Cognitive Science at Jadavpur University. My research interests lie in exploring the neural mechanisms of language processing, illusion perception, complexity processing in the visual and auditory modalities. My interest in diagrams stems from the urge to explore the neural basis of diagram processing.

Leonie Bosveld de Smet (2020 – 2026)

I am an Assistant Professor in the Information Science Department at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. My research background is in the formal semantics of natural languages, but my switch from the department of Romance Languages to Information Science led me to get interested in information visualization. Since 2004, my research interests have been in production and comprehension of static schematic diagrams of different data. I prefer to work with data related to language. I like to do research in collaboration with graduate students, and to set up research projects with companies to investigate the benefits of the use of visualizations for internal and external communication purposes.

Jean-Michel Boucheix (2017-2023)

Richard Burns (2016 – 2022)

I am an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at West Chester University in the US. My primary research interests are in the disciplines of machine learning, artificial intelligence, data mining, and natural language processing. Most recently, my applied research has investigated the usage and characteristics of information graphics in popular media and how graphic designers can specifically design visualizations in such a way that aids the comprehension of some desired parts of the graphic.

Peter Chapman (2018 – 2026)

I am a Lecturer in Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. I work on both logical aspects of diagrams, and their effectiveness via empirical evaluation. In particular, I study mechanisms for visualising set-based data, including Euler and linear diagrams. I also maintain an interest in Structural Proof Theory, which was the focus of my PhD.

James Corter (2020 – 2026)

James E. Corter is Professor of Statistics and Education and Chair of the Department of Human Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research interests span topics in education, psychology and statistics, including the role of diagrams in statistical reasoning and probability problem solving, tree and graph models of proximity data, educational assessment, judgment and decision making, human learning, and the psychology of collaboration.

Valeria Giardino (2020 – 2026)

Valeria Giardino is a confirmed researcher in philosophy at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), affiliated to the Institut Jean Nicod in Paris. Her main research interest is the role of non linguistic representations in reasoning, science and mathematics in particular. She has been working on the practice of mathematics, with particular attention to the use of cognitive artifacts such as diagrams and notations, and on the cognitive bases of mathematical knowledge, in connection to related research in cognitive science. Her approach has also brought her more recently towards gesture studies and mathematical education.

Mateja Jamnik (2010 – 2022)

I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge (UK) and hold the EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship “Automating Informal Human Mathematical Reasoning”. My PhD thesis at the University of Edinburgh, “Automating Diagrammatic Proofs of Arithmetic Arguments” broke new ground in automated reasoning. I was invited by CSLI Press, Stanford, to write a book about this work — Mathematical Reasoning with Diagrams: From Intuition to Automation (2001). My work focuses on exploring how people solve problems in mathematics, in particular with the use of diagrams. I computationally model this type of reasoning, thus trying to enable machines to reason in a similar way to humans. Very few systems attempt to benefit from the power of such human techniques. In my work, I aim to do just that: integrate informal human reasoning techniques, such as the use of diagrams, with the proven successful formal techniques, such as different types of logic.

Cathy Legg (2021 – 2027)

I am a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Deakin University. I received my PhD from Australian National University, where my thesis (“Modes of Being”) concerned Charles Peirce’s philosophical realism. After a spell of hands-on ontological engineering in 2001-3, I returned to academia where my current research bridges philosophy of language, semiotics, logic and philosophy of mathematics, pragmatism and AI, with a side interest in ‘cat metaphysics’.

Sven Linker (2021-2027)

I am Lecturer in Computing at Lancaster University Leipzig in Germany. My research interests lie in representations of space, their properties and their possible use. In particular, I am interested in how spatial relations may be used for diagrammatic visualisations of both classical and non-classical logical reasoning. Furthermore, I work on the verification of complex cyber-physical systems, and emergent properties of distributed computer systems.

Emmanuel Manalo (2016-2018; 2021-2027)

I am a Professor at the Graduate School of Education of Kyoto University in Japan. At the time of writing this brief bio, I am also Co-Editor in Chief of the journal, Thinking Skills and Creativity. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on the promotion of effective learning and instructional strategies, including the linking of different dimensions and strands of learning, and the cultivation of various thinking competencies such as critical thinking and metacognition. A large proportion of the research I do is about self-constructed diagrams – their applications in problem solving, communication, thinking, and learning; and methods for promoting their spontaneous, appropriate, and effective use.

Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen (2020 – 2026)

Marika Proover (2020 – 2026)

Daniel Raggi (2021 – 2027)

I am a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge. I research logic and reasoning, with a focus on their computational aspects. My main interest is in understanding how we reason, what makes reasoning effective, and how creative reasoning is achieved. I believe that understanding a process means being able to realise it computationally. Thus, I use tools such as interactive theorem provers to test my ideas. I did my PhD on mathematical proofs that involve a change of representation, and I am currently working on developing a more general approach to understanding the structure and transformations of representations.

Peter Rodgers (2012 – 2022)

I am a Reader in the School of Computing, University of Kent and head of the Computational Intelligence Research Group. I research the layout and use of various diagrams, including graphs and Euler diagrams. Such representations are common in applications that need to represent the connectivity, intersection and containment of data items. Drawing these diagrams from abstract data is complex, and becomes even more difficult when both graphs and Euler diagrams are combined. Recent advances have permitted the effective drawing of some kinds of data. Extending this work to find aesthetic layout for any data set is now the prime research goal.

Peter was Chair of the Steering Committee from 2016 to 2020.

Stephanie Schwartz (2016 – 2022)

I am an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Millersville University, and my research interests include Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. My research has focused on information graphics (graphs, specifically bar charts, appearing in popular media) as a form of language with a communicative intention. By applying natural language techniques to understanding information graphics, we can make them more broadly accessible, such as to visually impaired individuals and for indexing and searching in digital libraries. Through the process of modeling the communicative signals inherent in information graphics, we also come to better understand the cognitive and perceptual aspects of graph design. I enjoy an active and ongoing collaboration with a group at the University of Delaware dedicated to furthering this research.

Gem Stapleton (2008 – 2024)

I am a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Academic at the University of Kent. Before joining Cambridge, I was a Reader in Computer Science and Director of the Visual Modelling Group at the University of Brighton. Broadly speaking, my research aims to provide a more complete empirical and theoretical understanding of diagrams. My interests include establishing mathematical properties of diagrammatic logics, such as their expressiveness, decidability and completeness. I also work on automated diagram layout in order to produce visualizations of information. A major component of my research is to provide empirical insights into the graphical and topological features of diagrams that impact on human cognition.

Gem was Chair of the Steering Committee from 2012 to 2016.

Yuri Uesaka (2015- 2022)

Previous Steering Committee Members

Michael Anderson, Dave Barker-Plummer, Alan Blackwell, B. Chandrasekaran, Peter Cheng, Phil Cox, Richard Cox, Aidan Delaney, Tim Dwyer, George Furnas, Ashok Goel, Volker Haarslev, Mary Hegarty, John Howse, Roland Hubscher, John Lee, Mark Minas, Kim Marriott, Bernd Meyer, Hari Narayanan, Ian Oliver, Beryl Plimmer, Helen Purchase, Atsushi Shimojima, and Nik Swoboda.