Escape from flatland

Offered Spring 2007.

Student comments:

Wednesday, 2–3pm. Ross 115.

Hadley Wickham, hon322f@had.co.nz
Snedecor 125. Office hours after class, or by appointment.

A great way of understanding what’s going on with data is to LOOK at the data. If we print things out, or look at a fixed plot on our computer screen, we are trapped in a flatland of only 2 dimensions. How can we escape and explore beyond the flats? Are we limited to only to thinking in 3 dimensions, or can we expand our brains to think in more?

In this course we will investigate a number of ways to explore data graphically, with a focus on high-dimensional methods, that is, methods that can explore the relationship between many different variables. Most statistics courses use mathematics and numbers to do this, but we will use pictures, movies and interaction instead.



You'll be expected to write a one page (typed, single-spaced, 12-pt font, 1" margins) response every two weeks. The point of it is to get you thinking about the material outside of class, so hopefully it will stick in your heads better.

You are free to write anything related to class, but I would be particularly interested to see:

Schedule of topics and assignments

Data sets

Make sure to right-click and choose save as.

Other useful/interesting links

Disability Policy

Iowa State University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If you have a disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this course, please contact one of the instructors within the first two weeks of the semester. Retroactive requests for accommodations will not be honored. Before meeting with an instructor, you will need to obtain a SAAR form with recommendations for accommodations from the Disability Resources Office, located in Room 1076 on the main floor of the Student Services Building. Their telephone number is 515-294-6624.