Visualizing and Thinking About Data
Have you ever looked at a New York Times interactive graphic and thought, “Wow, that’s so cool! I wish I knew how to create something like that”? Or are you interested in strengthening your data skills more broadly? If so, this blog may interest you.
I’m a physicist turned psychologist who’s decided to enter the blogosphere world. My first set of posts will focus on learning skills for creating interactive visualizations, like the one below which I created (kudos to Karl Broman for the inital code and idea!).
This is my blog’s target audience:
People wanting to strengthen their data skills.
- This audience should be broad, given the rising importance of data skills in all employment fields.
People interested in thinking deeply about data.
- I’ll talk about data and research that I find especially important and interesting. My interests focus on diversity in science and technology fields, but I may cover other topics as well.
People with a variety of technical and non-technical backgrounds.
- I’ll focus on more advanced topics like machine learning and interactive visualization, but will provide links for learning more basic programming and statistics skills.
- So don’t be scared away if you don’t already have strong technical training! Learning technical skills takes time, but several free online resources can help you do that (e.g., Codecademy).
About tools I will cover:
- Don’t worry if you don’t know those names already!
- My blog will not focus on using SPSS and Stata, but may talk about how to transition to new languages from them (that’s what I did).
- I’m a Northwestern psychology Ph.D. student, researching how to improve diversity – especially gender diversity – in science and technology fields.
- I first learned data skills as an undergraduate playing around with massive datasets about high-energy particle physics (read more here if you’re so inclined).
- After earning my bachelor’s in physics at Harvey Mudd College, I pursued science education research through UC Berkeley’s Technology Enhanced Learning in Science (TELS) Center.
- At Berkeley, I created interactive visualizations for high school chemistry classrooms. I’m now in my third year in Northwestern’s psychology program.
- I strengthened my data skills through University of Chicago’s Eric and Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship. I learned core machine learning skills by working with a team of talented fellows on a project to improve student success in high school.
- My C.V. is here for academic folk. Here’s some media coverage: Chicago Tribune, Nature, Psychology Today, Quartz, Science, and U.S. News. I’ve also written for public audiences.
So stay tuned for the next post about how to make sexy interactive graphics!