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Revision as of 07:39, 11 September 2012 by Charliep (talk | contribs) (First Critique Tour)
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Course Overview

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.


First Reading and Tips and Techniques Tour

Listed below are the assignments for each chunk, note that everyone should read the startup materials.

  • Startup - Everyone
  • Web site - Leif
  • Making presentations - Mikel
  • News graphics - Ivan
  • Financial Data - Elena
  • Decision making - Emily
  • Narrative - Dee
  • Aesthetics - Tristan
  • Graphic design - Alex
  • Scientific and engineering - Mobeen
  • Animations - Ryan

As you read your chunks look for bits of guidance, advice, technique, etc. that you feel are useful. Summarize each of these in our Tips and Techniques Google Doc, make sure each entry contains an appropriate citation and follows the pattern/example at the top of the document. This tour is due Sunday 2 September.

First Lab - Measuring the Real World

Measuring the real world, the PDF. This lab is due Sunday 9 September at 3p US-ET. Turn in a (BW) printout of your writeup and visualization, along with the URL of the on-line (color) version of the visualization if it is available. Put the paper copy in Charlie's Box A in the wooden tower in the Math/CS/Physics lounge on the West end of second floor of Dennis Hall at Earlham College in Richmond, IN, US (planet Earth).

First Workshop - Histograms

This assignment is designed to consolidate your knowledge with histograms and give you experience generating one with a modest data set. You must do the work by hand, you can optionally use a software tool to produce it as well. Make sure you document each step of your work. This workshop is due Thursday 13 September.

First Critique Tour

This assignment is to be done in-class on Tuesday 11 September, 2012. In pairs review/critique one of these infographics from

  1. Human Languages on the Internet - Ivan, Mikel
  2. The Internet in 2015 - Leif, Di
  3. Worldwide Internet Usage - Elena, Emily
  4. Technology and eCommerce - Tristan, Alex
  5. Responsive Web Design - Mobeen, Ryan

Each group should:

  • Evaluate the infographic using the criteria listed below.
  • Locate a second infographic, on or elsewhere, that covers roughly the same ground and evaluate it similarly.
  • Prepare and deliver a 4 minute presentation which summarizes your findings.

The first presentation will start at 7:55a (except for Tristan's and Alex's which will be on Thursday at 12:05p).

Evolving Process/Criteria for Evaluating Infographics

  1. What's the story the infographic is trying to tell? What's the question or point(s) of it?
  2. Is the infographic effective? What makes it so, or not?
  3. What's the veracity of the data? Give it the brown M&M test using your search engine foo, GIYF, Wolfram Alpha, etc.
  4. Is the infographic representative of the data? Cherrypicking? Parallax?
  5. How could it be improved?
  6. Requirements (of a sort):
    • Color
    • Typography
    • Surface utilization

Bread Crumbs

  • Sunday 26 August (retrieve notes from board pictures)
    1. Relative error, absolute error, systematic error, and related topics
    2. Standard deviation
    3. Precision and accuracy
  • Thursday 6 September (harvest from Mic)
  • Tuesday 11 September (harvest notes from board picture)
    1. Histograms
  • Thursday 14 September
    1. Answered questions about first lab.
    2. Demonstrated how to upload files to the wiki, used for lab reports in PDF form.


Mic and Charlie's notes