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Teaching R graphics and visual rhetoric

Teaching R graphics and visual rhetoric

My 5-minute lightning talk from UseR! 2015 Aalborg

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Richard Layton

June 19, 2016
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  1. Teaching R graphics & visual rhetoric Richard Layton Mechanical Engineering,

    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology www.graphdoctor.com github.com/graphdr UseR! Conference, Aalborg, 2015–07–01. © 2015 Richard Layton except where noted.
  2. Creating a data visual is an exercise in rhetorical judgement.

    meanings comparisons contexts CSSE landing class © 2015 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, used with permission. 2 / 15
  3. Different communities focus on different aspects of communication. − technique

    − patterns − inference scripting & analysis 3 / 15
  4. Different communities focus on different aspects of communication. − tips

    − clarity − convention − technique − patterns − inference design aesthetics scripting & analysis 4 / 15
  5. Different communities focus on different aspects of communication. − meaning

    − context − response − tips − clarity − convention − technique − patterns − inference visual rhetoric design aesthetics scripting & analysis 5 / 15
  6. 6 / 15

  7. A student creates a portfolio of displays and critiques. Spiral,

    CC BY-NC 2.0 (2010) by Domiriel, https://www.flickr.com/photos/domiriel/5156024556/. 7 / 15
  8. Allotting the in-class hours to the major topics. Class hours

    (40 hours total) Percentage of course 25 28 12 35 8 20 Rhetoric Design Scripting Studio 10 11 5 14 3 8 data graphs 8 / 15
  9. Consider the rhetorical attributes of the dot plot. empirical-study based

    optimal data transmission philosophical positivism Charles Kostelnick. The visual rhetoric of data displays: The conundrum of clarity. IEEE Trans. on Prof. Communication, 51(1), Mar 2008. 9 / 15
  10. Rhetoric of adaptation: tailoring the communication to a specific situation.

    The “Curriculum Committee” version: Design adapted from Jean-luc Doumont. Trees, Maps and Theorems. Principiae, 2009. 10 / 15
  11. Social rhetoric: readers interpret displays through their collective learning, experience,

    and values. The “Board of Trustees” version: Charles Kostelnick. The visual rhetoric of data displays: The conundrum of clarity. IEEE Trans. on Prof. Communication, 51(1), Mar 2008. 11 / 15
  12. 12 / 15

  13. Indifference to the human condition: a cruel graphic. S. Dragga

    and D. Voss. Cruel pies: The inhumanity of technical illustrations. Technical Communication, 48(3), Aug 2001. Graph courtesy of M. Pitsch. 13 / 15
  14. A humanizing image can convey a humanistic ethic. KSWAT 41st

    bring medical care to children (2008) by Daniel West, https://www.dvidshub.net/image/103082/. Funeral of seaman Jesse Pelham (2000) by Jeff Hall, https://www.dvidshub.net/image/1081508/. 14 / 15
  15. Implications for teaching R graphics. Carefully select your technical computing

    objectives. Continue to design for clarity and truthfulness. Pay attention to the needs of the audience. Convey a humanistic ethic. With thanks to my students E.W. Cating, S. Hacker, M. Pitsch, F. Winkelmann, & J. Wullbrandt for sharing excerpts from their portfolios (pp. 7, 13, 14). 15 / 15