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Interesting Stuffs – 4

Exciting things I learned and read during the week (25 Oct – 31 Oct) beside my current hard workload of reading papers for PhD:

  1. Learning resources for data visualization beginner

In this post, the author explains her guide on getting into data visualization, both as a beginner and if you want to follow as a freelancer. She also explains steps to start a project in data visualization. The most important thing is to get the topic that interests you, dig into data to understand the data and which part of the dataset that you want to communicate with the viewers (usually use R at this stage), then sketch the visualization of the data (see which one is the most effective one, analyze each one to have good and bad sides), then visualize with visualization tool (depend on which tool suitable you the most for that project, d3.js, SVGs, HTML5 Canvas, or webGL), then get to the final image or finish the project.

I know Nadieh Bremer when I want try to look for some inspiration for data visualization. And her project for Hubble Space Telescope is absolutely amazing. This post is also so detailed about her journey into a freelancer data visualization designer – it took her 5 years after her master from astronomy.

2. Think fast, talk smart

In this video, Matt Abrahams speak about spontaneous situations where you need to talk and explain your ideas or your opinions. Some of his lessons are:

– Calm you anxiety

Before speaking, you need to calm your worries. His methods for anxiety management include accept your anxiety and greet them as a feeling of yours, treat this as a conversation with your audience, use conversational language, start with questions, treat this as an opportunity rather than a challenge, and be present with the audience rather than thinking ahead what their reactions will be or what if you are wrong.

– Ground rules

Some of his grounds rules are dare to be dull, get out of your comfort way, try not to perfect your sentence, slow down and listen. You need to understand your audience before you can have a reaction to them or be present with your audience (some of his entertaining way, but quite effective to be present: point a thing but say with a different name; have a partner, you give a gift to your partner, but the partner will say anything they want, and you need to reply as “Yes, and… the reason I give it to you…”; talk by spell words). Tell a story and to tell a story you need to have a structure. Two structures that he recommends to use are Problem (Opportunity) -> Solution -> Benefits, and What? So what? Then what?

It is interesting to learn that and I should apply it into my real life, especially when I need to discuss and tell my opinions in class. I still feel stuck to present ideas in my head (or sometimes I do not have any ideas).

3. The art of writing scientific research

This video has some critical information to understand in writing for scientific research. He mentions many things in the video, but these are things that stuck in my mind most.

– Know your audience. Know your readers. Readers for your scientific research are those who have competence to understand and your job is to change their ideas or bring a new idea to them.

– Your writing must be clear, organized, persuasive and VALUABLE. Readers will read things that are valuable to them.

– Know the targeted audience or some experts in your field to know what things are considered as VALUABLE.

4. Some good visualizations that I read this week

– The shape of dreams

– The network of positive decisions

5. The journey of humans in space for past 20 years

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