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:
- Matlab plot gallery
- Anatomy of a figure for matplotlib.
- Seeing Theory (slick visual introduction to probability and statistics)