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Course Project

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The course project should present and discuss an important series of ideas based on a dataset of your choice.

Midway through the course, you will be required to submit a one-page summary outlining the main idea of your final project. This outline should include the domain of your data, the kinds of ideas you wish to represent with the data, and your initial ideas what kinds of visualizations you will use to represent those ideas.

Final projects should combine text and graphic materials in traditional term-paper format. The paper should be printed in a 12 pt. font, double-spaced, and stapled (no binder or cover). All papers (including brief summary) should be prepared in accordance with the guidelines common in your field of study (e.g., APA style) and include references for all sources of data.

If you find it easier to structure your paper, divide it into two parts.

In the first part you will briefly discuss the nature of your data by providing a background of its origin and its consistency. You will then present a series of visualizations that communicate your message to the audience. Your message should take the form of an argument, a recommendation, a conclusion, etc. The sequence of your visualizations should lead your audience toward this argument, creating a fluid and clear "journey." Be sure to include accompanying text in your document that helps define the idea of the visualization and how it helps to illustrate your message.

I suggest you define a hypothetical situation that describes your audience. An example of such a hypothetical situation is that you are a researcher for a small company presenting a recommendation to the board of directors. If you choose your audience to be a group besides an IT class, retain the assumption that this is a "lay" audience, making your points clear to people who may not be experts in your field. I would expect you to use 4-6 visualizations in combination, but this can vary depending on the type and density of your information. For example, animations may include several "screen shots" in order to make sense of timing and sequence in the argument. Quantity is less critical: density, clarity, and impact are always more important. Remember to check graphs for unity, location, emphasis, and text parallels. The visualizations will be checked that they adhere to good design principles that we have covered. Strive to create "original" graphs showing your creativity, using a variety of techniques and software that you have learned. Using visualization techniques and software packages not covered in class are completely acceptable. Expected length: 6-10 pages, depending on the size and frequency of your visualizations.

In the second portion of the paper, address the reasoning of your choices for visualizations, the advantages and limitations of your choices, and provide a justification of your final decisions. Provide a reflection on visualizations, and what aspects of the class you see as most valuable and those you see as least valuable. Expected length: 1-2 pages.

Project length: No more than 15 pages, text and graphics combined.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2008, May 20). Course Project. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License
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