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Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Envisioning Information
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La Representación Visual de Información
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Data Analysis for Politics and Policy, $2
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Edward Tufte one-day course,
Presenting Data and Information
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Visualizations: Viz-O-Matic, Pythagorean Theorem, Moebius Transformations

I have seen ET speak a couple of times, and each time I was blown away by a video presentation explaining the Pythagorean Theorem. Paying attention to the credits, I noticed that it was produced by JPL.

About three months of back-and-forth emails with the AV Department at JPL ran into a dead end when I finally had an order in for the video cassette and was told that it is now "out of print". Grrr!

Is there any way to get a copy of this video?


-- jovino (email)


Here are the sources for the 2 wonderful videotapes; it appears that both are still available.

1. The Theorem of Pythagoras is from the excellent Project Mathematics series by Tom M. Apostol and James F. Blinn done at Caltech. They produced modules on the Theorem of Pythagoras, The Story of Pi, Similarity, Polynomials, Sines and Cosines (3 parts), The Tunnel of Samos, Early History of Mathematics, and some teaching workshops. The work came out about 10 years agso.

The Theorem of Pythagoras uses animation and a witty voice-over for teaching the theorem. I show a 3-minute summary version (of the original 30 minutes) in the one-day course. The series of Project Mathematics tapes regularly brought the house down at the annual SIGGRAPH video show; these mathematical animations were glowing jewels among the over-produced, techy-commercial animations usually shown at SIGGRAPH.

To learn more and order these tapes, go to http://www.projectmathematics.com

2. The parody of scientific animations is The Viz-O-Matic: The Dangers of Glitziness and Other Visualization Faux Pas, done in 1993 at the Cornell Theory Center. This 2-minute tape appears to be still available from several sources: http://hulksmaash.imeem.com/video/o6PyqMpK/vizomatic/

Also Al Globus of NASA wrote a nice review of the tape.

-- Edward Tufte

Jim Blinn

I had the opportunity to see Jim Blinn present the animations at SIGGRAPH. I was blown away, not only by the principles, but the simplicity of the presentation. That was in the hey day of everything chrome and 3d on a checkered floor. They are great example of how to convey a realatively comples concept in a very simple fashion.

I have since wondered how I could get my hands on them. Thanks for sharing.


-- Mark Schraad (email)

Moebius Transformations

Douglas Arnold and Jonathan Rogness of the Univerity of Minnesota use a rainbow gradient and a grid to teach Moebius Transformations.

-- Bil Kleb (email)

Moebius Transformations

Moebius Transformations is a wonderful video clarifying a deep topic. This is amazing work by Douglas Arnold and Jonathan Rogness of the Univerity of Minnesota.

-- Edward Tufte

How rewarding to hear this appreciation of our video, Möbius Transformations Revealed, from a hero of mine. Thank you! For those interested in seeing the full resolution version of the video, rather than the downsampled version on YouTube, it may be downloaded from http://www.ima.umn.edu/~arnold/moebius. (I couldn't resist quoting your assessment on that web page.)

-- Douglas Arnold (email)

The AlloSphere, a unique virtual reality environment at the University of California, Santa Barbara, turn[s] large data sets into immersive experiences of sight and sound. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=allosphere-ucsb

-- Will Semmes (email)

Threads relevant to Edward Tufte's work:

Seeing Around: New ET essay published