Data visualization skills

Some thoughts on teaching data visualization skills.

  • Need to go beyond learning to use a piece of software, so that students develop an appreciation (an “eye”) for effective communication. It would be great to collaborate with visual arts department.
  • Emphasis on removing noise/clutter and enhancing signal (i.e., increasing signal to noise ratio).
  • It is a part of general communication skills. The same principle applies to making slides or diagrams.
  • Students need to learn a few basic forms (scatter plot, bar graph, histogram).
  • They also need to realize they have control over the plotting elements (scales, labels, marker size/colors, thickness, tick marks, etc.), and learn a few simple things that enhances clarity.
  • Initial target? students doing summer research or honors thesis projects.

A few resources:

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