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Some interesting examples of data visualisation projects from Mark Hansen via the mathbabe blog

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This week in Rachel Schutt’s Columbia Data Science course we had two excellent guest speakers.

The first speaker of the night was Mark Hansen, who recently came from UCLA via the New York Times to Columbia with a joint appointment in journalism and statistics. He is a renowned data visualization expert and also an energetic and generous speaker. We were lucky to have him on a night where he’d been drinking an XXL latte from Starbucks to highlight his natural effervescence.

Mark started by telling us a bit about Gabriel Tarde (1843-1904).

Tarde was a sociologist who believed that the social sciences had the capacity to produce vastly more data than the physical sciences. His reasoning was as follows.

The physical sciences observe from a distance: they typically model or incorporate models which talk about an aggregate in some way – for example, biology talks about the aggregate of our…

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