Date of Award

Summer 8-2012

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair

Jian Chen

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Alexander P. Auchus

Committee Member 3

David H. Laidlaw

Committee Member 4

Chaoyang Zhang

Committee Member 4 Department



This thesis presents the design and prototype implementation of a scientific visualization language called Zifazah for composing and exploring 3D visualizations of diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DT-MRI or DTI) data. Unlike existing tools allowing flexible customization of data visualizations that are programmer-oriented, Zifazah focuses on domain scientists as end users in order to enable them to freely compose visualizations of their scientific data set. Verbal descriptions of end users about how they would build and explore DTI visualizations are analyzed to collect syntax, semantics, and control structures of the language. Zifazah makes use of the initial set of lexical terms and semantical patterns to provide a declarative language in the spirit of intuitive syntax and usage. Along with sample scripts representative of the main language design features, some new DTI visualizations created by end users using the novel language have also been presented.