Art or Knowledge: Program

Day 1: Demos

Tuesday, April 11th

Location: Schapiro CEPSR, Davis AuditoriumRoom 412

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM 

Keynote Presentation: Data Humanism, Presentation by: Giorgia Lupi

Description: Data is now recognized as one of the founding pillars of our economy, and the notion that the world grows exponentially richer in data every day is already yesterday’s news. The ways we relate to data are evolving more rapidly than we realize, and our minds and bodies are naturally adapting to this new hybrid reality built of both physical and informational structures. And visual design—with its power to instantly reach out to places in our subconscious without the mediation of language, and with its inherent ability to convey large amounts of structured and unstructured information across cultures—is going to be even more central to this silent but inevitable revolution.  What are some of the key challenges that we, as designers, will need to address in out future with data?  How can we start questioning the impersonality of a merely technical approach to data, and to begin designing ways to connect numbers to what they really stand for?  The talk will provide some key ideas on how we can move forward.

11:45 AM - 11:50 AM Short Break  
11:50 AM - 12:35 PM

Conflict Urbanism: Visualizing Conflict Data Through Mapping and Spatial Analysis, Presentation by: Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Description: Both in Colombia and Syria millions of people have been displaced, and thousands more have been victims of sexual violence, threats, land-mine explosions, homicides and massacres. Conflict Urbanism: Colombia, and Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo map and visualize these crimes in hopes of better understanding the patterns and ramifications of these conflicts. Through a series of interactive maps, case studies and data visualization pieces we attempt to record and narrate destruction and displacement. Our work is situated between policy and historical memory and introduces spatial memory into the discourse of transitional justice.

12:35 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch Break  
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM

Visualizing Social Interactions in Social Networks, Presentation by: James Curley

Description: Visualizing how individuals interact with many other individuals in social groups over time requires the utilization of several data visualization methods. This talk will discuss recently developed methods of visualizing static and dynamic social networks using R and d3.js. It will also describe how we visualize social dynamics within and across social groups using interactive and linked visualizations in R and d3.js. Finally, it will provide examples of how dynamic social interactions can be modeled using p5.js.

2:15 PM - 2:20 PM Short Break  
2:20 PM - 3:05 PM

Visualizing the Data of Art: Photogrammetry in Art History, Presentation by: Sofia Gans

Description: Photogrammetry, a method of building 3D computer models through precisely captured sets of digital photographs, has become popular as a method of archiving works of art in museums and collections. This paper addresses how this technology might move beyond the archive. In what ways might we harness this visualized data to answer real research questions? This talk will provide one possible answer, by sharing the ways in which I have employed photogrammetry in my dissertation research to determine the methods by which medieval bronze sculptures were cast. By combining computational technology with traditional humanities research, we can begin to unlock history in new and different ways.

3:05 PM - 3:15 PM Short Break  
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM

Careful Cartography in the Age of Data Rich Mapping, Presentation by: Stuart Lynn

Description: Web mapping has come a long way since the click and refresh days of Mapquest. Today, online maps are used everywhere from reporting election results to illustrating data trends. What these maps all have in common is that they are less concerned with navigation and more with facilitating exploration through a landscape of data. Maps are a wonderfully intuitive form of data visualization, and have an intrinsic authority that other charts and  diagrams lack. This in turn means that cartographers have a huge responsibility to make sure that the information conveyed by these maps is as unbiased as possible, or at least that those biases are known. I will talk about methods we have been developing at CARTO to encourage even amateur cartographers to make maps that are as clear and as accurate as possible.


Day 2: Workshops

Wednesday, April 12th

Location: various, see program

Please note: These workshops are open only to current Columbia affiliates.


Lehman LibraryDSSC, Room 215

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Finding Missing Patterns in R, Led by: Zhirui Wang

Description: Missing data can impact your research in various way, especially when its pattern is not random. This one-hour workshop will discuss different methods in R to visually explore patterns of missing data, discuss possible causes for the missing data patterns, and potential biases which might result from these patterns. 

10:50 AM - 11:50 PM

Introduction to Interactive Visualizations in R, Led by: Yue Jin

Description: Interactive visualization allows deeper exploration of data and better communication of data-driven findings than static plots. This workshop will introduce the most popular interactive visualization tools in R with simple examples. Participants will learn the basics of data visualization theories and the syntax of the R packages used. It is expected that participants have some understanding of plotting in R.

11:55 AM - 12:55 PM

Basic Data Visualization with Python Matplotlib, Led by: Kunal Baweja

Description: Visualizing data is an important task in data analysis but often we are short of finding the perfect tool. Matplotlib module will get you familiarized with basics of data visualization such as bar graphs, scatter plots etc and also prove to be helpful in visualizing data with more advanced python modules such as plotly or pandas. Basic understanding of python expected. Setup ipython and matplotlib module on your laptops before attending.


Butler Library, Studio@Butler, Room 208b

1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

An Introduction to Visualizing Text with Python, Led by: Jonathan Reeve

Description: Computational text analysis is a powerful tool for anyone that works with digital texts. In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of text analysis and visualization using the Python programming language and its Natural Language Processing Toolkit (NLTK). No prior programming experience is required. Participants are encouraged to install iPython 3 and the NLTK prior to the workshop, and to bring a digital text to analyze, such as a novel or collection of documents.


Science & Engineering Library, Innovation Space, Main Floor

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Reproducible Research using R & RStudio, Led by: James Curley

Description: Ensuring that data management, analyses and visualizations are reproducible should be a minimal standard for any research discipline. Reproducibility enhances replicability, facilitates collaboration and helps us improve the quality and productivity of our own research. This workshop will demonstrate the many tools available in the R programming language and RStudio to facilitate reproducibility. In particular we shall discuss using RMarkdown and RNotebooks as well as writing our own R packages.

3:35 PM - 4:35 PM

Downloading API data through Python, Led by: Juan Francisco Saldarriaga

Description: This workshop will introduce you to basic Python programing and to social media APIs. Students will learn how to write basic Python code to import data, query API's and extract information, and export the results in formats that can be used for analysis or mapping.

4:40 PM - 5:40 PM

Mapping and Visualization with CARTO, Led by: Stuart Lynn



A special thanks to our sponsors: