CONJ 610: Fundamentals of Data Visualization

Fall 2014, Thursdays at 1:30


Data visualization is very interesting and nifty. The simple act of attending this class is guaranteed to enhance your evolutionary fitness.

More seriously, this course is designed to give students a foundation in the principles of data visualization, particularly as applied to scientific and technical data. In large part, the specific details that we cover will be determined by the interests and backgrounds of the students.

As this is a "nano-course", grading will be based on class participation and on turning in completed assignments. There will also be a final group project.


CONJ 610's instructors are Jackie Wirz and Steven Bedrick.


We will be drawing material from a wide variety of sources for this course; as such, there is no single, required text book per se. However, we will frequently refer to Nathan Yau's Data Points, and highly recommend that anybody taking this class have a copy.


Date Topic
Oct. 2 Introduction: Why visualize? | data/ink ratio | different types of graphs, etc. [pdf]
Oct. 9 Visual Perception: neurology[part 1] [part 2]
Oct. 16 Color, HW discussion [pdf]
Oct. 23 Graphs [part 1][part 2]
Oct. 30 Tables [part 1][part 2]
Nov. 6 Networks & Trees [part 1][part 2]
Nov. 13 (Cancelled due to Snow)
Nov. 20 Maps! [pdf]
Nov. 27 Thanksgiving (no class)
Dec. 4 Multidimensional Data: heat maps, topography, 3D
Dec. 11 Ethics
Dec. 18 Visualization Tools


Useful books

Websites of note

Additional Readings

Student Access Statement

Our program is committed to all students achieving their potential. If you have a disability or think you may have a disability (physical, learning, hearing, vision, psychological) which may need a reasonable accommodation please contact Student Access at (503) 494-0082 or e-mail to discuss your needs. You can also find more information at Because accommodations can take time to implement, it is important to have this discussion as soon as possible. All information regarding a student’s disability is kept in accordance with relevant state and federal laws.