Unit I: What is truth? What is a fact? What is data?

Thursday, January 10th – What is a fact?

Tuesday, January 15th – Fact-checking

  • Read: John D’Agata, “What Happens There” (PDF)
  • Read: John D’Agata and Jim Fingal, The Lifespan of a Fact, Chapters 1-3
  • In class: Fact-checking exercise; Jennifer McDonald, “In the Details”; from The Smoking Gun, “A Million Little Lies.”

Thursday, January 17th – Lifespan of a Fact discussion

  • Read: Lifespan of a Fact, Chapters 7-9
  • Read: John McPhee, “Checkpoints” (PDF)
  • In class: Skype with Jim Fingal; Laura Miller, “In Defense of Fact Checking.”
  • Due: Blog Cycle 1.1

Tuesday, January 22nd  – The historical fact

  • Read: Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, “Seeing and Believing: The Experimental Production of Pneumatic Facts,” from Leviathan and the Air-Pump (PDF)
  • In class: Mark Hansen, “Movable Type

Thursday, January 24th – The trouble with facts

  • Read: MT Anderson, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Part I (pp. 1-116)
  • In class: Octavian Nothing discussion; Shapin and Schaffer, “The Trouble with Experiment,” from Leviathan and the Air-Pump (PDF); Mark Marino, “Living Will.”
  • Due: Blog Cycle 1.2

Tuesday, January 29th The modern fact

  • Read: Octavian Nothing, Part II (pp. 117-236)
  • In class: Octavian Nothing discussion; Bruno Latour, “Constitution,” from We Have Never Been Modern (PDF)
  • NO CLASS MEETING – Professor out of town

Thursday, January 31st – Computational Journalism symposium

Tuesday, February 5th  – The modern fact

  • Read: Octavian Nothing, Parts III and IV (pp. 237-353)
  • In class: Octavian Nothing discussion; computational journalism discussion; the modern fact discussion (moved from 1/29)

Thursday, February 7th – The postmodern fact

  • Watch before class: Larry and Andy Wachowski, The Matrix (1999)
  • In class: Jean Baudrillard, “The Precession of Simluacra,” from Simluations (PDF)
  • Due: Blog Cycle 1.3

Unit II: Visualizing Data

Tuesday, February 12th  – Visualization

Thursday, February 14th – Visualization in film (Part I)

  • In-class screening: Minority Report (Part I)
  • Due: Blog Cycle 1.4

Tuesday, February 19th– Visualization Workshop

  • Read: Edward Tufte, “Graphical Excellence” and “Graphical Integrity,” from The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (PDF)
  • In class: Visualization workshop

Thursday, February 21st  – Taxonomies and Charts

  • Read: Alex Wright, “Networks and Hierarchies” and “The Moose that Roared,” from Glut: Mastering Information through the Ages (PDF)
  • In class:  Thomas Jefferson, from Notes on the State of VirginiaWilliam Playfair, from The Commercial and Political Atlas (PDF) and The Statistical Breviary (PDF); Theodore Porter, from The  Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900 (PDF)
  • Ben Schmidt on shipping logs and Melville
  • Due: Blog Cycle 2.1

Tuesday, February 26th  – Timelines 

  • Read: Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton, “Time in Print,” “A New Chart of History,” and “Frontier Lines,” from Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline (PDF)
  • In class: Chronozoom; Lev Manovich, “Data Stream, Database, Timeline

Thursday, February 28th  Visualization in film (Part II) 

  • In-class screening: Minority Report (Part II)

Tuesday, March 5th  – Expanded Applications

  • Read: Edward Tufte, “Visual Confections: Juxtapositions from the Ocean of the Streams of Story,” from Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative (PDF)
  • In class: more Tufte; Minority Report discussion; The Secret Lives of Numbers”; Jonathan Harris, “We Feel Fine” and “The Whale Hunt.”

Thursday, March 7th

  • Due (in class): Midterm Project Presentations
  • Due: Midterm Project and Reflection

Tuesday, March 12th  – Cities of data; cities of the mind

  • Read: Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, pp. 1-76
  • In class: the Muppets travel by map; Mark Monmonier, from How to Lie with Maps (PDF);  Johanna Drucker, “Humanities Approaches to Graphical Display” (PDF); Charles Cuming, The 21 Steps; Stephen Wiltshire’s cityscapes; MVRDV’s datascapesCurious Incident discussion.
  • If time: Rebecca Solnit, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (PDF); Eli Horowitz, The Silent History (iPad ap).

Thursday, March 14th Geospatial viz, cont’d. (subtitle: problems with viz)

  • Read: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, pp. 76-158
  • In class: Curious Incident discussion; Malcolm Gladwell, “The Picture Problem”; In class: Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, “Epistemologies of the Eye” and “Mechanical Objectivity” from Objectivity (PDF)
  • Due: Blog Cycle 2.2

Tuesday, March 19th  and Thursday, March 21st

  • NO CLASS MEETING – Spring Break

Tuesday, March 26th Personal viz

Thursday, March 28th  Networks and viz; Gephi workshop

  • Read: Alexander Galloway, “Are Some Things Unrepresentable?,” from The Interface Effect (PDF)
  • In class: Gephi workshop <- BRING LAPTOPS TO CLASS
  • Due: Blog Cycle 2.3


Tuesday, April 2nd – Data and surveillance

  • Read: Charles Duhigg, “How Companies Learn Your Secrets.”
  • Read: Rita Raley, “Dataveillance and Countervailance,” from Raw Data is an Oxymoron (PDF)
  • Read: Lisa Parks, “Satellite and Cyber Visualities: Analyzing ‘Digital Earth,’” from The Visual Culture Reader (PDF)
  • In class: A Superstitious Fund.

Thursday, April 4th Silicon Jungle; Tableau workshop

  • Read: Shumeet Baluja, The Silicon Jungle, pp. 1-100
  • In class: Silicon Jungle discussion; dataveillance/counterveillance discussion, cont’d. 
  • Due: Blog Cycle 2.4

Tuesday, April 9th – Gattaca viewing (class will run late)

  • Read: The Silicon Jungle, pp. 101-199
  • In class: Andrew Niccol, Gattaca (1997)

Thursday, April 11th Gattaca & Silicon Jungle discussion

  • Read: The Silicon Jungle, pp. 200-end
  • In class: Gattaca and Silicon Jungle discussion
  • Due: Bonus Blog Cycle 

Tuesday, April 16th  – Data and art

  • In class: John Whitney, Matrix III; Vik Cosek, ASCII movies; John F. Simon, Jr.; Takashi Murada, data moshing videos; JODI; Lev Manovich, “The Anti-Sublime Ideal in Data Art”; more TBD.

Thursday, April 18th  – Data and publics

Tuesday April 23rd, Wednesday April 24th, and Thursday, April 25th 

  • NO CLASS MEETING – Conferences

April 30th, 11:30am – Final Project/Analysis Due

5 responses to “Schedule

  1. Pingback: Lauren Klein’s Data Visualization syllabus « Urban ethics and theory

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