Shehzad Afzal, PhD

Research Scientist

Research Scientist


Research Interests

​Dr. Afzal's research interests are in the area of visual analytics-based decision support systems that can facilitate interactive analysis of spatiotemporal datasets, identification of patterns and anomalies along with contextual information, predictive analytics, data-driven decision making, resource allocation, and situational awareness by combining data from disparate sources. In past, he has worked on applications of visual analytics in the areas of syndromic surveillance, finance, social media, crime analytics, resource allocation for security and surveillance, agricultural crop production, and text-based visualization design. Dr. Afzal is currently focusing on visual analytics-based decision support environments for climate and atmospheric datasets.

Selected Publications

  • A survey on visual analysis approaches for financial data
    S. Ko, I. Cho, S. Afzal, C. Yau, J. Chae, A. Malik, K. Beck, Y. Jang, W. Ribarsky, D.S. Ebert Computer
    Graphics Forum, 2016
  • Mass media and the contagion of fear: the case of Ebola in America
    S. Towers, S. Afzal, G Bernal, N. Bliss, S. Brown, B. Espinoza, J. Jackson, J. Judson-Garcia, M. Khan, M. Lin, R. Mamada, V. M. Moreno, F. Nazari, K. Okuneye, M. L. Ross, C. Rodriguez, J. Medlock, D.S. Ebert, C. Castillo-Chavez
    PloS one, 10 (6), e0129179, 2016
  • Analyzing high-dimensional multivariate network links with integrated anomaly detection, highlighting and exploration
    S. Ko, S. Afzal, S. Walton, Y. Yang, J. Chae, A. Malik, Y. Jang, M. Chen, D.S. Ebert
    IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST), 83-92, 2014
  • Spatial text visualization using automatic typographic maps
    S. Afzal, R. Maciejewski, Y. Jang, N. Elmqvist, D.S. Ebert
    IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 18 (12), 2556-2564, 2012
  • Visual analytics decision support environment for epidemic modeling and response evaluation
    S. Afzal, R. Maciejewski, D.S. Ebert
    IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST), 191-200, 2011


  • ​Ph.D., Computer Engineering, Purdue University, USA, 2017

Professional Profile

  • ​2018-Present: Postdoctoral fellow, CEMSE, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2017-2018: Development Lead, Davista Technologies (Startup), Purdue Research Park, West Lafayette, IN, USA
  • 2009-2016: Graduate Research Assistant, VACCINE Lab, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA


  • Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation (PROTECT): Served as a member of the United States Coast Guard Port Resilience for Operational Tactical Enforcement to Combat Terrorism (PROTECT) Team, Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence (VACCINE), Purdue University, May 2013
  • VAST 2010 Challenge Award: Support for Future Detection, IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology, October 2010 for “VACCINATED”, (A. Malik,Afzal, S., Hodgess, E.,Ebert, D., Maciejewski, R.)

Research Interests Keywords

Visual analytics Information visualization Data-driven decision making