A screenshot of the worst part of my portfolio. It shows three presentation summaries.

Re-Thinking My Portfolio

Below is the assignment I gave. I’m going to give it a shot starting with my own portfolio and then looking for aspirational goals in a subsequent post. Take a look around at portfolios other people are using. You’ll want to check out people in the field like Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom but you’ll also want to look outside sociology for inspiration. Cast a wide net. Find sites that are doing things you like. Take targeted screenshots and explain what you like. Link back to the sites. Keep thinking about the data being presented, the user interactions that get you to the data, and the visual elements that appeal to you. Spend an hour or so looking around and getting ideas. If a particular search isn’t fruitful, try something else or jump ahead 5 or 10 pages in the search results. Don’t get bogged down. Once you’ve got a good chunk of ideas, use them to create a post outlining what you’d like your portfolio to be. Some people call this wireframing. If you like to sketch, sketch out things on paper or whiteboards and photograph (I do this often) them. You can also use a variety of digital tools to do something similar. Your portfolio is an interactive argument that provides a skeptic audience with a limited attention span […]

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Why I’m Teaching Data Viz for Sociology

I’m teaching a course for VCU’s digital sociology Master’s degree program this semester. One of the things I’ve asked the participants to do is explain why they’re taking this course. I’m hoping that will help me customize what we’re going to do in the course. Since I asked the participants to document why they were taking this course, I figured the least I could do is create a similar post explaining why I agreed to shepherd this course and why I made some of these initial choices. I’m approaching the concept of data visualization pretty broadly. The course is broken into two main components. The first portion is looking at their own portfolio and how they might think it through in terms of data visualization1 and then moving on to broader/deeper applications of data visualization (connected to their personal research). Part of the reason I want to start with the portfolio is that the data is personal and it’s easier to get a feel for how real/accurate any visualizations you make are. We’ll also be able to establish a decent foundation of web literacy, design, accessibility, etc. prior to applying them to more sophisticated visualizations. Essentially, it’s about starting out on more familiar ground before venturing out into increasing complexity. The second section will focus on figuring out a set […]

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-01-07

These psychedelic stickers blow AI minds | TechCrunch researchers have created a wonderful attack on image recognition systems that uses specially printed stickers that are so interesting to the AI that it completely fails to see anything else. Time Travel In the language of the Navaho there is no past, present, and future tense like those of many languages. Events are talked about with regard to their quality of happening rather than their temporal quality. Is it possible that time may not really exist, but is just an artifact of our biological and cultural evolution? –I haven’t independently verified this to my satisfaction yet. Time Travel and Modern Physics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) You have to end this, you have to kill him, really kill him once and for all. You shoot him, but your eyesight is so bad that your aim is off. You do not kill him, you merely damage his left eye. He staggers off. You fall to the ground in agony, and decide to study the paradoxes of time travel more seriously. This might be the best map of the 2016 election you ever see – Vox The Only Good Thing About Winter Is This Story Written in Snow Fun stuff on all levels. h/t Jon Becker

Dead fern fronds on a stick with leaves.

Photography – #161

A post shared by @twwoodward on Jan 10, 2018 at 3:38am PST Once again, it’s been a good while between photography updates. I’ve fallen in a bit of a slump and that tends to result in low photography production. Here’s to more and better photos in the future.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-12-31

Is white space always your friend? – Questions in Dataviz “most people would agree that white space is your friend, but empty space is not” I’m Maria Popova, and This Is How I Work Occupation: Curiosity Architect Gallery | Tableau Public Tableau hits What I Use to Visualize Data | FlowingData Always nice to see what other people use to do things. Data looks better naked — Darkhorse Analytics | Edmonton, AB simplify data viz gif Coding the Law: Student Work Challenge: For a given jurisdiction, create a “chatbot” to determine if someone is eligible for appointed counsel, fee waivers, or the like. The bot should provide users with a set of action items to obtain any such aid, including copies of any applicable court forms pre-filled with data obtained from interaction with the bot. Cellograffiti by Ches – Neatorama Pen Plotter Art & Algorithms, Part 1 the physical/digital blend I find interesting

Bret Victor on the right with a black and white cartoon fish on the left. Under the fish is the statement - This is not a fish.

Data Viz and Dead Fish

3:40 – “I believe that behavior and responsiveness is the essence of the computer as an art medium and what that means is that any time we create art that doesn’t have behavior we’re not living up to the potential of the medium. It’s not native art.” 4:34 – “… what sort of art is possible when both the art and the artist are alive? When the art and the artist are responding to each other and working together to create something beautiful.” 15:00 – “So what you’re seeing here is kind of the interplay between two living and behaving beings. There’s the fish behaving through simulation. There’s me behaving through performance and there’s this wonderful kind of symbiosis with the two of us working together to put on a show. The simulation and the performance are really complementary. So when I was making that little scene with the fish there was always this back and forth between the simulation and the performance. So if there was something I wanted the fish to do but I couldn’t perform it with my hand because it was too complicated, I had to move my hand too fast, there’s too many other things going on with the scene, I take that and put it in the simulation.” 16:02 – “There’s this back and […]