The Social Life of Visualizations

Data Vizualization, Human Computer Interaction, Visualization


I thought I’d pass this along since we’re all interested in visualization and data visualization…

HCIL Seminar Series Presents:

Speaker: Martin Wattenberg, IBM Research,

Where: 3258 AV Williams Bldg, University of Maryland , College Park

Tuesday November 7th, 12:30pm

Talk: The Social Life of Visualizations


Visualization is often viewed as an efficient way of getting information out of a database and into an individual’s head. I argue that the value of many visualizations derives instead from their position in social systems involving two or more people. Through a series of examples from both science and art, I will discuss how this viewpoint leads to new directions, questions and design principles.


Martin Wattenberg is a research scientist at IBM, where he leads the Visual Communication Lab. His work focuses on new approaches to data visualization and collaboration. He is known for both applied and artistic visualizations, interpreting such disparate information sources as online communities, music, baby names, and stock market data. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from UC Berkeley.

Please visit:, For more information.

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Google for K12 Educators

Education, Elementary School, High School, Middle School

This from the Official Google Blog:

“…We’ve been hearing about some pretty cool assignments from classrooms across the U.S. where teachers at all grade levels are using Google products to bring history lessons to life, illuminate new sources of information, and encourage sharing and collaboration. What we’ve also heard loud and clear is that teachers want more information about using Google products, and more connections to other educators who are using the web creatively. This is why we’ve launched a set of resources for K-12 educators today at the new Google for Educators site. Here you’ll find teachers’ guides for 12 Google products, including basic information about each, examples of how educators are using them, plus lesson ideas. We’re also offering some additional multimedia content, including lesson plans and videos from Discovery Education that use Google Earth and SketchUp, and a series of podcasts at Infinite Thinking Machine on innovative ways to use the web in the classroom…”

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Super Smart Whiteboard Application

Education, Human Computer Interaction, Interaction Design, Movie

I had a very unique yet welcome happening the other day. My namesake, “Rob Fay” – a 16 year old living in Nottingham, England, decided to contact me. I had “Googled” my own name before to see if there were other “Rob Fays,” but I never decided to track them down. Well, I’m delighted that Rob contacted me.

Today I decided to check out his site and found an interesting find. I’m surprised I hadn’t stumbled across it sooner, but I believe it can inspire a company such as ours since we leverage whiteboard technologies with our learning curriculum. Check it out.

[Runtime: 04:43 | Please make sure you have the latest version of Macromedia Flash installed on your computer to watch this video. To download it, please visit: ]

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Adaptation for Virtual Learning


Everything Virtual (link to pdf)

I found an interesting article on requirements for virtual learning environments. 3 things were of particular interest.

#1 The concept of stretchtext. When a link is clicked, supplemental text is inserted (or removed) into the original text. I assume this could work for graphics as well. it allows for additional info without moving to another page and losing total focus and direction.

#2 The concept of a Virtual Student Clone. Students learn by teaching their virtual clone. Metrics can be derived from testing the clones learning. Really interesting concept.

#3 The importance of emotion for learning and how emotion can be included in a virtual environment.

(if the above link doesnt work — )

Tufte in DC

Data Vizualization, Usability, User Experience, Visualization

This from Dan

“During my talk at the last UX Week in August, I mentioned Edward Tufte, who has done lots of work in the area of information visualization. (You may have seen PeterMe‘s review of Tufte’s new book Beautiful Evidence on his site – here, here, and here.) Tufte’s work can inform how we
develop user experience documentation.

Tufte will be giving his workshop in the DC area Nov 14-16 this year at the Marriott Crystal Forum. I *highly* recommend this session. The session is a full day, and costs $360. This includes ALL FOUR BOOKS!

You can learn more about his workshop here:

If you do attend, please let me know! Perhaps DCIA will host a happy hour in which attendees can share what they learned!”

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K12 Online Conference


The “K12 Online Conference” is for teachers, administrators and educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice! This year’s conference is scheduled to be held over two weeks, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30 – Nov. 3 and will include a preconference keynote. The conference theme is “Unleashing the Potential.”

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