When the Data Get Tough, These Researchers Go Visual

Ever wondered what a cleaner shrimp can see?

Or how the force of a footstep moves from particle to particle through a layer of sand?

How about what portion of our renewable energy comes from wind versus solar power?

The winning submission, created by Nicholas School PhD candidate Brandon Morrison, illustrates the flow of agricultural and forestry crops from raw materials to consumer products. The colors correspond to the type of crop – brown for wood, green for vegetables, etc. – and the width of the lines correspond to the quantity of the crop. You can check out the full image and caption on the Duke Data Visualization Flickr Gallery.

The winning submission, created by Nicholas School PhD candidate Brandon Morrison, illustrates the flow of agricultural and forestry crops from raw materials to consumer products. The colors correspond to the type of crop – brown for wood, green for vegetables, etc. – and the width of the lines correspond to the quantity of the crop. You can check out the full image and caption on the Duke Data Visualization Flickr Gallery.

The answers to these questions and more are stunningly rendered in the entries to the 2016 Student Data Visualization Contest, which you can check out now on the Duke Data Visualization Flickr Gallery.

“Visualizations take advantage of our powerful ability to detect and process shapes to reveal detailed trends that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to see,” said Angela Zoss, Data Visualization Coordinator at Duke Data and Visualization Services (DVS), who runs the contest. “This year’s winners were all able to take very complex topics and use visualization to make them more accessible.”

One winner and two finalists were selected from the 14 submissions on the basis of five criteria: insightfulness, broad appeal, aesthetics, technical merit, and novelty. The submissions represent data from all areas of research at Duke – from politics and health to fundamental physics and biology.

“This year’s entrants showed a lot of sophistication and advanced scholarship,” Zoss said.  “We’re seeing more advanced graduate work and multi-year research projects that are really benefiting from visualization.”

Eric Monson, a Data Visualization Analyst with DVS, hopes the contest will inspire more students to consider data visualization when grappling with intricate data sets.

“A lot of this work only gets shared within courses or small academic communities, so it’s exciting to give people this opportunity to have their work reach a broader audience,” Monson said.

Posters of the winning submissions will soon be on display in the Brandaleone Lab for Data and Visualization Services in The Edge on the first floor of Bostock Library.

The second-place entry, by Art History PhD student Katherine McCusker, depicts an archaeological site in Viterbo, Italy. The colored lines indicate the likely locations of buried structures like walls, platforms, and pavement, based on an interpretation of data from ground-penetrating radar (represented by a dark red, yellow, white colormap). You can check out the full image and caption on the Duke Data Visualization Flickr Gallery.

The second-place entry, by Art History PhD student Katherine McCusker, depicts an archaeological site in Viterbo, Italy. The colored lines indicate the likely locations of buried structures like walls, platforms, and pavement, based on an interpretation of data from ground-penetrating radar (represented by a dark red, yellow, white colormap). You can check out the full image and caption on the Duke Data Visualization Flickr Gallery.

Kara J. Manke, PhD

Post by Kara Manke

 


This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 at 2:03 pm and is filed under Art, Biology, Field Research, Science Communication & Education, Statistics, Visualization. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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