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Revision as of 10:04, 12 June 2012 by Micj (talk | contribs) (Examples)
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Short-term To Do List

  1. Figure-out books for the library to purchase, probably put them on reserve through the fall (charlie)
  2. Look at on-line courses in this area (mic)
  3. Consider Tufte in Chicago in August (mic)


Math/CS 484 -- The goal of our Ford/Knight project is to distill and organize the principles of visualizing large data sets. Modern science is often done by small groups of people that come from diverse backgrounds, e.g. a mathematician, a biologist, and a computer scientist. We plan to solicit input in the form of example data sets to work with from each of the natural and social science departments on campus. This work will provide a foundation for a course, or course module, which we hope to offer in the future. Must see instructor for registration.



NPR did a couple of interesting segments on Big Data, visualizations, and the search of mathematicians and others who can do that stuff. (December, 2011)

New York Times article from December, 2011 on bioinformatics and visualization, MicJ




  • infographics
  • Big data
  • work flow(s)

The People

  1. Tristan Wright - confirmed
  2. Elena Sergienko - confirmed
  3. Diana Ainembabazi - confirmed
  4. Mikel Qafa - confirmed
  5. Ivan Babic - confirmed
  6. Leif DeJong - confirmed
  7. Ryan Lake - confirmed
  8. Alex Reid - confirmed
  9. Emily Marie Pavlovic - confirmed



  1. Long-term turtle size, sex, age, climate by year from Western Nebraska (JohnI)
    • Von Bertalanthy (sp) growth model, special case of Fisher models?
  2. Long-term iguana size, sex, age, climate (8 years only) from Bahamas (Exumas island) (JohnI)
    • Von Bertalanthy (sp) growth model, special case of Fisher models?
  3. Why do turtles lay the number, size, type and frequency of eggs that they do?
    • What are the common patterns?
    • Which dimensions aren't accounted for?
      • Latitude and longitude?
      • Habitat?
      • Phylogeny?
      • Climate?
      • What other data sets are available?
  4. How to distinguish between variations within a species vs different species
    • Standardized morphometric data (AOT moristic data, e.g. counts of number of scales between body parts), size standardized
    • Currently using multivariate statistics, about 25 variables
    • Looking for one image with all populations and variables
    • Looking for structure
  5. Phylogenetic reconstruction, visualizing trees with multiple models (JohnI)


  1. Principle component analysis
  2. Discriminate function analysis
  3. Data conditioning and translation, CSV and XML
  4. Gridded and non-gridded data
  5. Ideas that Michael suggested


  1. Mic's books
  2. Charlie's books
  3. Dave's viz workshop at Kean

The Plan

1) Planning items

  • Are there any field trip opportunities?
  • Figure-out what books to order
  • Figure-out what are the likely conference opportunities?
  • Are there any other tools besides R that we should be considering?
    • GRASS?

2) Things to learn

  • Is there a somewhat canonical process or technique that one can reliably apply to go from readings -> data -> information -> visualization?
  • How to utilize geocoding attributes?
  • How to utilize timestamp attributes?

3) Things to read

4) Things to do during the class

5) Questions

  • Which parts of statistics do people need to know?
    • correlation for PCA
  • What linear algebra do people need to know?
    • matrix operations for PCA

6) Tools

  • R under Linux/OSX

7) Possible sources for data sets

  • John Iverson
    • turtle birthing data
    • phylogenetic reconstruction
  • Mike Deibel
  • Kathy Milar
  • Meg Streepy
    • GPlates - visualizing plate tectonics