Forrest W. Young, Professor of Psychometrics at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, received his PhD in Psychometrics from
the University of Southern California in 1967. He has been on the
faculty of UNC-CH ever since.
Prof. Young's early research interests focused on Multidimensional
and Nonlinear Multivariate Data Analysis (for which he was elected
the President of the Psychometric Society, and received the American
Market Research Association's O'Dell award, both in 1981). Via these
research interests, Prof. Young became involved in software development
early in his career.
Prof. Young has served as a professional consultant on statistical
system interface design with SAS Institute, Statistical Sciences
(the S-Plus system), and BMDP Inc. He has written or designed data
analysis modules for the SAS, SPSS and IMSL systems. He is a member
of the American Statistical Association's sections on Computational
and Graphical Statistics.
Recently, Prof. Young's research interests have focused on Statistical
Visualization, including the development of Guided Tours and SpreadPlots,
and on visual methods for guiding novice data analysts through complex
data analyses. The latter work combines Prof. Young's knowledge
about Psychology, Computer Science and Statistics, since it is based
on cognitive-science and artificial-intelligence notions concerning
the structuring of the environment in which data analysis occurs.
ViSta, a 10 year long project, incorporates much of Prof. Young's
previous research threads into a coherent analysis and visualization
environement. ViSta is a freely available, academically-oriented,
open and extensible visual statistics system that is useful for
teaching introductory and multivariate statistics, for data analysis
by statistically naive researchers, and for advanced research and
development in graphical and computational statistics. The development
of ViSta is nearly finished.