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Experimental two-day course on July 12-13 in Palo Alto, California

I've decided to teach an experimental two-day course this summer in Palo Alto, California (about 45 minutes south of San Francisco) on Thursday-Friday, July 12-13. The course will consist of a chapter-by-chapter close reading and commentary on all four books: On day 1, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and Envisioning Information. On day 2, Visual Explanations and Beautiful Evidence, and possibly some material from volume 5 in progress.

Over the years, in the one-day course, I've concentrated on certain practical topics (showing financial data, interface design, flow charts, PowerPoint, and so on) and on the most recent one or two books.

In contrast, this try at a two-day course will accept the organization of the books as written, which is on strategies of display (for example, escaping flatland, small multiples, layering and separation, integration of evidence, evidence corruption) and not on particular technologies of display (interface, slideware, animations) or particular topics (financial data, medical data). The two-day course is the theory of analytical design with examples; the one-day course, examples with some theory. Both courses stress a close reading of visual evidence.

In the two-day course, I can show more videos and rare books associated with the material in the four books. I can talk more informally about the books and describe what I was trying to do in a particular chapter or example. Since the two-day course will surely be smaller than the one-day course, there will be some opportunities for questions during the class and, like the one- day course, during office hours before the course and during lunch. One other relevant property of the two-day course is that students have to set aside two full days devoted entirely to the four books without interruption. There is probably about 20% direct overlap with the one-day course.

Students will be shipped the books in advance in order to do some reading assignments before the course. All four books must be in hand both days. The course is not divisible; students should take the course for two days; one fee covers both days.

-- Edward Tufte

Response to Experimental two-day course in Palo Alto on July 12-13

Registration for the two-day experimental course is now available.

To register, print out, fill out, and then fax or snailmail the form below. In about a week, the online registration described below will be available at this website.

-- staff

Denver one-day in 2007, p = .4
Denver one-day in 2007-2008, p = .9
Denver two-day in 2007, p = 0

For those who have already registered for the Palo Alto experimental two-day course:
you will soon receive the 4 books along with a reading assignment in preparation for the course.

-- Edward Tufte

Any estimates for the probability of an East Coast (somewhere between Boston and DC) two-day in 2007?

-- Kurt (email)

How well did the two-day course format work out?

-- Allan T. Grohe Jr. (email)

ET reports

The two-day course opened a 17-day trip involving 11 talks, several meetings, and some days out
photographing the scenery. I lost some of my usual self-awareness about my classes because of all the other
things that followed. I've listened to parts of the 10+ hours of audio from the course and have noticed some
minor ways to improve and intensify the course.

The idea of taking the structure of the books as the structure of the course worked well from my point of view.

The students in the course were excellent.

The two-day course should have been scheduled during the school year in Palo Alto when more Stanford students and
faculty were around town. I brought some extra rare books and special exhibits to the course; I wish I had brought
even more. Recently we've been showing a lot more video in our one-day course; I would have liked that material
in the two-day course, particularly the new work on wavefields, which sketch out ideas going beyond sparklines.

Two days wasn't enough time; one day per book would be better. Maybe I'll think about a 4-day course!

I don't know yet when the two-day course might be given again.

-- Edward Tufte

Threads relevant to Edward Tufte's work:

Seeing Around: New ET essay published

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