Alexander Lex

My research is on data visualization methods for domain experts. I design, build, and study interactive visual data analysis solutions that aid researchers in data driven fields, such as biology and medicine, in understanding and communicating complex data sets.


I am an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute and the School of Computing at the University of Utah. I direct the Visualization Design Lab where we develop visualization methods and systems to help solve today’s scientific problems.

Before joining the University of Utah, I was a lecturer and post-doctoral visualization researcher at Harvard University. I received my PhD, master’s, and undergraduate degrees from Graz University of Technology. In 2011 I was a visiting researcher at Harvard Medical School.

I am the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and multiple best paper awards or honorable mentions at IEEE VIS, ACM CHI, and other conferences. I also received a best dissertation award from my alma mater. I co-founded Datavisyn, a startup company developing visual analytics solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. In addition to writing papers, our lab publishes a lot of visualization software. My most popular tool is UpSet, a set visualization technique. You can find other visualization software on our GitHub Page.


I’m on sabbatical for the 2021/2022 academic year, going back to my native Austria to work for datavisyn, the company I co-founded, and working with Marc Streit and his group at Johannes Kepler University.

Because of my sabbatical I’m currently not taking on students, PostDocs, or service assignments.

Alexander Lex
Alexander Lex, PhD, MSc
Associate Professor

SCI Institute,
School of Computing,
University of Utah
72 South Central Campus Drive,
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112

Room: WEB 3887

Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar

Office Hours: on request (I'm on sabbatical)


Peer-reviewed Journal and Conference Publications

UpSet screenshot

Alexander Lex, Nils Gehlenborg, Hendrik Strobelt, Romain Vuillemot, Hanspeter Pfister
UpSet: Visualization of Intersecting Sets
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (InfoVis), 2014


Funded Research Projects


Current PhD Students

Graduated PhD Students

Christian Partl, PhD '18 (co-advised with Dieter Schmalstieg)

Current MS Students

Former Students

Sai Varun, MS '20
Sateesh Tata, MS '16
Roy Bastien, BS '16
Priyanka Parekh, BS '16
Shreya Singh, MS '15
Varsha Alangar, MS '15
Rasvan Iliescu, MS '14
Alain Ibrahim, MS '14
Tamar Rucham, MS '14
Gabriel Hase, MS '14
Conor Myhrvold, MS '14
Ran Sofia Hou, BS '13 (co-advised with Joe Blitzstein)
Thomas Geymayer, MS '12, BS '11 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Christian Partl, MS '12 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Michael Lafer, BS '10 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Hannes Plank, BS '11 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Jürgen Pillhofer, MS '10 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Michael Wittmayer, BS '09 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Helmut Pichlhöfer, BS '10 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Oliver Pimas, BS '10 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Bernhard Schlegl, MS '09 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Werner Puff, MS '10 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Christian Partl, BS '09 (with D. Schmalstieg)
Stefan Sauer, BS '09 (with D. Schmalstieg)