MSAN 622 Data Visualization

This course will address basic data visualization techniques and design principles. Students will use R with the ggplot2 and shiny packages to prototype visualizations. Students will obtain practical experience with the visualization of complex data, including multivariate data, geospatial data, textual data, time series, and network data.


Data Visualization Speaker Series   Posted 22 Apr 2014

The Data Visualization Speaker Series presents:

Reza Ali
Designing Visualizations and Interfaces with Code

Monday, April 28, 2014
6:30pm to 9:00pm
McLaren, Room 250

Reza's talk will explore the process of designing and implementing interfaces and generative visualizations. He will showcase his most recent works and address the aesthetic considerations and challenges involved in creating each piece.


6:30 – 7:15Doors open, socializing, food, drinks
7:15 – 8:15Speaker's presentation
8:15 – 9:00More socializing, Q&A

Bio: Reza is a computational designer and creative engineer. He uses code to express himself, and creates tools and libraries to help others create. He is the author of ofxUI, one of the most popular add-ons for openFrameworks (an arts-engineering toolkit). Though his works is highly visual, he is interested in the ideas and implications of his tools, works, and methodology. As an artist and engineer he is deeply interested in the feedback cycle that occurs when customs tools are written to accomplish an artwork, and how those tools can enable artworks to go beyond what the artist had originally envisioned. Reza is excited to find those happy accidents, beautiful moments of interaction and magic that comes with making something novel with technology. He hopes to change the world by making a difference in how people use technology, design products and experience new media art and entertainment.

Notice: Attendance at this event is mandatory, and will replace lecture on Tuesday 4/29. (We will not meet on Tuesday 4/29 as a result.)

Homework Feedback   Posted 19 Apr 2014

I just want to say that, overall, your homework feedback is fantastic. Thank you for providing useful, detailed, and positive feedback to your classmates!

Redesign Exercise   Posted 15 Apr 2014

Submit your redesign from today's exercise at:

You can download a version of the original data (plus some extra context) at the following link:

Download Dataset (Google Spreadsheet)

The following links are where you can find the original visualizations:

Here are some related links that discuss the original visualizations:

There is also quite a bit of additional discussion on Twitter.

Piazza   Posted 13 Apr 2014

We will start using Piazza for all homework questions in this class. This will provide a forum for people to see the responses to common questions, and share various tips and hints when it comes to wrangling R, ggplot2, and shiny.

I will start redirecting any questions sent via email to Piazza instead. You can post anonymously if you feel uncomfortable attaching your name to a question, or privately if you feel uncomfortable sharing your code. (Please note the instructor can always see who posts on Piazza, but other students will not see your name if you post anonymously.)

Homework 2 Graded   Posted 12 Apr 2014

I released the grades for homework 2 in Canvas and unlocked the assignment so that you can view the rubric used. I really enjoyed seeing the creativity of everyone with the customizations. There were some really neat visualizations!

To select which students would have homework 2 graded, I randomized the list of all students using and selected the top half of the list. If you received a 0 on this assignment, this means you will have homework 3 graded instead. Note that Canvas is now setup to drop the lowest grade in the homework category.

I will repeat this process to determine who will have homework 4 versus homework 5 graded, but will not release the randomization until after homework 5 has been submitted.

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