Meet our Members: Seven Short Talks


I was delighted with the diversity of the proposals submitted for our December Meet our Members program. You will hear about statistical graphics and data art, static graphs and interactive ones, and some will tell you while others ask you.


1. Aleksey Bilogur - Data Analyst at Kaggle and a civic open data tinkerer outside of work

Open Data Visualization and Learning by Doing

Aleksey will highlight a few of the viz projects he has done on his personal blog: . Going a step further, he will pose the methodology of blogging on visualizing civic data on the web as being a great way of starting out in the data visualization and data analysis space.

2. Jessie Henshaw - Natural scientist, semi-retired, studies the natural behavior of complex systems of all kinds.

Exposing systems hidden by local noise

Jessie will show the power of smoothing the 3rd derivative (suppressing the ‘jerk’) of timeseries data. It helps expose hidden dynamics in the behavior of underlying systems and exposes a great error often made in interpreting data as scatter plots.

3. Joyce Robbins – Lecturer in statistics and data visualization at Columbia Univ.

Let's Talk About Boxplots

Joyce will discuss the history of boxplots, variations in how they are displayed, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to be a better reader of boxplots.

4. Ben Dilday – Data Scientist at Gallop

TILT: A Mobile Datavis Experiment

Ben will show a couple experiments he has done with using tilt-of-phone to interact with visualizations in d3. The best example of the concept is this - it allows a user to simulate mouse-over brushing by tilting their phone, and to "jump" between categories by snapping their wrist.

5. Ying He - Computational designer and researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Understand China through Visualization

Ying will try to answer the following questions: How can data visualization design help the Chinese see the unseen faces of Tai chi? How can we use open data to explore the differences of design and art colleges around the world? And how can we use data visualization to unlock the secrets of winning art awards in China?

Three projects that she will show include:

1.Tai-chi Motion (

2.The Structural Formula of Design Colleges (

3.Award Puzzle (

6. Michail Xyntarakis - Transportation Engineer with Cambridge Systematics. Principal investigator in data analytics and mobility related projects sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.

Visualizing Transit Movements and Delays in New York

The space-time diagram that visualizes the movement of trains across space and time is on the cover page of one of the most well known and best selling visualization books. However, it is rarely used in practice even though it can tell a good story, sort of an X-ray on system performance on any given day. Using publicly available MTA bus data we will use the space-time diagram to show bus movements, stop dwells, and delays for some routes and days. We will experiment with color to encode additional information such as speed or delay from schedule. Finally, we will enhance the plot with percentile distributions to obtain additional insights about system performance.

7. Seth Surchin – founder at Chair Four Development Group LLC

An Internet of Things problem: data presentation to Machine Operators on the Factory Floor

Seth’s startup collects data from sensors that they mount on machines and combine that data ('facts' in the parlance of business intelligence) with human input data ('dimensions') to provide real-time feedback on operations to everyone in the business – from the people that run machines to the CEO.

An important data visualization challenge for them is how to effectively present information back to machine operators. Seth will describe their problems and ask the audience for advice.

Thanks to Stack Overflow for providing a venue and to for refreshments.