Introduction

Queens College
ARTS 370
Data Visualization

Fall 2017
Friday 2:00PM – 5:50PM
I-Building 213

No Class: 9/22, 9/29, 11/24

Course Description

The massive amounts of data that we produce as a culture is steadily rising year after year. This evergrowing sea of information needs to be understood. Since we are all naturally visual people, the best way to understand this data is to graphically interpret it as data visualizations.

Over the course of this semester we will cover this entire process. First sourcing publically available data sets. Then analyzing these data sets to pull out the points of interest. And finally designing visualizations based on our findings for a specific audience. The first portion of the semester will be focused on printed infographics and the second half will be entirely interactive interpretations of the data using HTML5.

Course Objectives

  • Collect your own personal data throughout the semester for your final project.
  • Research and identify a subject matter of interest.
  • Source at least two separate datasets about that subject.
  • Clean the data sets and pull out the points of interest.
  • Write a creative brief defining your audience, findings and what you hope to achieve.
  • Visualize your findings as a poster or magazine layout and print it out for your midterm presentations.
  • Understand the basics of HTML5 (HTML, CSS and JavaScript).
  • Using HTML5 along with the libraries and software we discuss, create a one page website visualizing the personal data you have been collecting over the course of the 14 weeks.
  • Present your website and findings to the class for your final project.

Course Requirements
Class participation is mandatory. You are expected to be present, to participate in a positive, constructive manner, and to produce work that is full of energy, completed and presented to the best of your ability.

It is your responsibility to turn in work on time, to make up any missed assignments, and to catch up with the class in the event of an absence. Late work is unacceptable; however, this work can be turned in for partial credit. If you know you are going to be absent, contact the professor by email in advance. For the most up-to-date information (including what is due next class) visit the class website: dataviz.dannewoo.com.

This is a hands-on course and regular attendance is necessary for participation. You will be graded on in-class participation. If you know you are going to be absent, contact the professor by email in advance. Students who miss numerous classes will find it difficult to pass the course. Visual assignments and projects will be graded based on: one for technical merit, concept and your demonstrated ability to understand the code. Your final grades will be calculated by the following: 80% project, 20% participation. You are expected to spend as much time working outside the classroom as you work inside the classroom. Schedule your time accordingly.

You will need to have a notebook or sketchbook that you will be expected to bring to every class, as well as a 4gb or larger thumbdrive to transfer digital files. Frequently visit dataviz.dannewoo.com for the most up-to-date information regarding this class and what is due.

Textbook
The Functional Art, by Alberto Cairo

Suggested Reading
Envisioning Information, by Edward Tufte
Visual Explanations, by Edward Tufte
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, by Edward Tufte
Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling, by Josh Ritchie, Ross Crooks and Jason Lankow
Information Design Workbook, by Kim Baer
HTML & CSS, by John Duckett
JavaScript & jQuery, by John Duckett
Interactive Data Visualization for the Web, by Scott Murray

Professors Contact Info
Name: Danne Woo
Email: dwoo@qc.cuny.edu
URL: dannewoo.com
Twitter: @dannewoo
Office Hours: Wednesdays and Fridays 12:15 – 1:45PM upon request

Grading
Attendance:
Two (unexcused) absences result in grade drop and four absences result in a failing grade. Late or early departure from class (15 minutes) is the equivalent of ½ absence.

To earn an A:
All class work and homework is excellent. Projects have been completed when assigned. The work shows a development and understanding of the principles discussed in class. It is presented immaculately. There is regular and prompt attendance and participation during critiques and an enthusiasm toward the material being presented throughout the semester. This is exceptional work.

To earn a B:
All assigned work completed in a thorough manner. An understanding of the principles and lessons covered in class is evident. The student comes to class regularly and on time and participates in critiques and discussions. This is better than average work.

To earn a C:
Most class assignments and homework have been completed. Regular attendance but minimal or negative class participation. There is understanding of most of what’s being presented in class. This student shows some interest in the course content. This is average work.

To earn a D:
Most class assignments and homework have not been completed. Marginal effort made to understand the course objectives and very little or negative participation on behalf of the student. Spotty attendance. This means below average work.

To earn an F:
Student has not completed 1⁄3 of the course work and has missed too many classes. This student doesn’t participate or has a bad attitude and shows no interest. It means not enough work, attendance, and/or effort to pass the class.

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