Monday, September 3, 2018

To learn visualization, write about visualization

The best way to understand something well is to force yourself to explain it to others. That's why, beginning this semester, I'm requiring all my students at the University of Miami to read 2-3 chapters from visualization books every week, and then write about them in a weblog. I'm giving students in my advanced class access to the manuscript of my new book, which will be published in 2019, so if you want to get a sneak peek, read below.

Here are some posts I liked:

Shiqi Wang used the weekly readings as a pretext for an essay about the nature of visualization. Her opening paragraph is: “I think data visualization is not simply about turning data into charts. It's about looking at the world through data. In other words, the object of data visualization is data, but what we want is actually — data vision, data as a tool, visualization as a means to describe reality and explore the world.”

Alyssa Fowers got a book by Howard Wainer and wrote an interesting post about the dangers of small samples and extreme values.

Mackenzie Miller wrote both about The Truthful Art and the first few chapters of my new book. Scroll down, as she also has posts about R and ggplot2.

Shiyue Qian wrote a nice summary of the first few chapters of The Truthful Art.

Adam Clarke disagreed with me—I like that!

Brendan McBreen critiqued a faulty graphic about federal spending.