Report on the Conference on
Visualization of Categorical Data

by Jörg Blasius and Michael Greenacre
An international conference on Visualization of Categorical Data was hosted by the Zentralarchiv from 16 to 19 May 1995. This conference attracted 128 researchers from 21 different countries to Cologne. 63 participants came from Germany, 13 from North America, 10 from the Netherlands and 10 from Spain. A total of 51 papers were delivered, of which 18 papers were given by invited speakers (see accompanying bar charts). Participants of conference:
Germany     63 ***************************************************************
Netherlands 10 **********
Spain       10 **********
U.S.A.       8 ********
France       7 *******
Belgium      5 *****
Canada       5 *****
U.K.         5 *****
Bulgaria     3 ***
Other       12 ************
(one each from Luxembourg, Poland, Japan, Chile, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, South Africa, Switzerland, Italy, Rumania and Norway) Papers
Germany    13 *****************************************************************
Spain       6 ******************************
U.S.A.      6 ******************************
France      5 *************************
Canada      5 *************************
Netherlands 3 ***************
U.K.        3 ***************
Bulgaria    3 ***************
Other       7 ***********************************
(one each from Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia, South Africa, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg).

The aim of the conference was to bring together social scientists and statisticians to discuss methods of graphical representation of categorical data typically obtained in social surveys. On the one hand, the social science researcher should be involved in the development and use of modern methodology, while on the other hand the statistician should be confronted with social science theories and their empirical manifestations. The main topics of the conference were:

as well as various new techniques of visualization developed for specific types of data.

Many well-known international researchers attended this conference, notably

With sadness the conference took notice of the untimely death of one of the main speakers, Clifford Clogg (Pennsylvania State University), just ten days before the start of the conference. Cliff was one of the most prominent researchers in both statistics and sociology and embodied the spirit of the conference in bridging the gap between these two disciplines. At the beginning of the conference a special tribute was made to Cliff Clogg by three of his personal friends: Gerhard Arminger, Tamás Rudas and Jay Magidson (see the report by Gerhard Arminger in this journal).

Thanks to the presence of so many contributors and participants from different countries and the excellent standard of presentations, the conference was generally felt to be a great success. We are planning to edit a book of selected papers from the conference, under the provisional title of Visualization of Categorical Data, including both the description of new techniques and their application to social science research.