Geology 7200 - Spring 2011
Scientific Communication and Visualization
  T-Th 10:40-12:00 pm
E-207 Howe-Russell

Instructor: Dr. Barb Dutrow
    Rm 203 Howe-Russell Building (Old Geology)
    Office hours: 1:00 - 2:00 T-Th; or by appointment
    Class Home Page:

Highly Recommended Texts:
Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative (Tufte, 1997)
    The Elements of Style (Strunk and White)

Recommended Texts:
    The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd Ed. (Tufte, 2001)
    American Geological Institute - Geowriting (2005)

    Reading assignments should be completed prior to class and are taken from recommended texts (Tufte, 1997) as well as 

    from peer-reviewed scientific literature 

Course Expectations:

Evaluation:  Based on presentations, research paper, mid-term exam,  assignments and quizzes, and class participation.

Students will acquire tools to analyze and present quantitative data using correct cognative techniques and styles
to effectively communicate scientific topics; formulate an oral and poster presentation,  prepare a written, journal-appropriate research paper and a grant proposal.
Topic Reading - to be completed prior to class
Discussion Topics
Introduction to the class

Part I: Visualization of Scientific Data
    Why do we visualize?
        Vision & Cognition  (notes)

    1. Graphics in geologic literature? 
         Quantity, type, style per journal

     2. E-mail research topic to Dr. Dutrow by 25 Jan.

Visual assessment/knowledge survey: Graphics in geo/scientific literature
    Discussion of homework

Quantitative Communication
Visual and Statistical Thinking
      images, quantities, space
      History of Graphics; Escaping flatland
Read and be prepared for discussion:
Tufte (1997), Chpt. 1

 21 (F)
noon; 3:40pm
 attend Wilbert Lecture -  Dr. Isabel Montanez

Analysis vs. Presentation Graphics
    Discussion of Tufte (1997) Chpt. 2

Graphics as an observational tool (analysis and presentation)

Read and be prepared for discussion:
Tufte (1997), Chpt. 2
- How is visualization used to convey information?

Homework: Problem Set 1: Analyzing large data sets of heat transport near intrusives (due 1 February)
  Analysis Graphics
Graphics Tools: data maps, images, diagrams, graphs, f(x,t), f(x,y,z,t) vector fields,  animation + df/dt, tensor fields, multivariate;  2D vs. 3D

Graphics Grammar; nouns/verbs e.g. physical boundaries vs. process

Problem solving

   Examples of analysis graphics
Scan: Sevre et al. (2008) Visualization of tsunami waves....Visual  Geoscience.
Scan: Carlson et al. Electronic Geoscience (1999)
Read and discuss: Chp 4, 6 (Tufte, 1997)

Discussion of analysis graphics homework

Presentation Graphics
Prior knowledge
       Apprehension Principle
    Design Strategies
        congruence principle
        graphic integrity, design density (maps), chartjunk,
        smallest effective difference
        Dos and don'ts
     Design types
         time-space narratives,
         small multiples

Software: Introduction to xmgrace

  Image processing & mischief (integrity)
Scan: Zia et al. Electronic Geosciences (1998) 3:1

            Majumder et al. Visual Geoscience (upper left, click on volumes 1-7;)

 Read and discuss: Tufte (1997) Chpt 4, 6

 Homework: Problem Set 2: Presentation of heat transport analyses (due 8 February)

EOS 73: Mar. 2, 1992 (Flat Venus society)

Understanding geologic phenomena  from quantitative graphics, visualization - discussion of  papers in Visual Geoscience etc.

Presentation Graphics - Deriving Meaning
        use and misuse  (Powerpoint)
            printers vs. computer screens
Read and discuss: Tufte (1997) Chpt 5

Homework: Problem Set 3: Analysis and Presentation graphics for research data. Develop place map of research area using principles
 4 (F)
 attend Wilbert Lecture -  Dr. Bijaya Karki

Class discussion and critique of Problem Set 2: Presentation of heat transport analyses due

Problem Set 3: Analysis and Presentation graphics for research data

Problem Set 3: Analyze data sets from thesis research
                        Presentation graphics for research
                                           with class input (no instructor)
Problem Set 3: Analysis and Presentation graphics for research data

Data Resolution
     raster graphics (e.g. remote sensed data, hi resolution computing) 
     vector graphics

Problem Set 3:  Presentation graphics for research for Instructor

Problem Set 3: Presentation graphics for research

 Visualization and animations in geoscience

    Do they communicate?
      examples of Netlogo modeling, perthite formation (bring portable to class), heat and mass transport animations of calculations.

    Presentation of visualization papers
Read and discuss: Read/scan: Karki and Chennamsetty (06) Visual Geoscience

Hand in redo of presentation graphics for research
   attend lecture
 22 Bleeding Edge
hardware (CAVE,   I-Desk, I-WALL)
         parallel vis. real t vis, large data sets, virtual
     Desktop  visualization (AVS, tecplot, PV-WAVE, IBM explorer, etc.) 

     Intro to AVS;  Demo of AVS
Presentation graphics for research 

Part II: Scientific Communication - Technical Writing

Target audience - Discussion of papers

    Journal Styles, Impact Factors,

Prior to class:
Read: AGI style guide - chpt 1.

Read papers on carbon sequestration - designed for different target audiences. come prepared to discuss.
Scientific American, Physics Today, Geology, Science; answer questions.

Homework: Find style guide for publication of choice




Writing Constraints:

Discussion of target audience papers

  Discipline Specific Technical Writing vs.  Thesis Writing

Titles, Introduction, Methods
AGI style guide - Read chpts. 2-5, 7-9

Outline of Research Paper

Homework: Begin writing Intro and Methods for
thesis/research topic, which requires
Readings: Background for Thesis topic
Intro/Methods March 10


Writing, Proofing, Reviewing, Revising:

   Results, Discussion and Interpretations (fact vs. fiction)

   Conclusions; References  


Work on outline
Discussion of results and discussion sections

Homework: Writing results/interpretation
for thesis/research topic due 15 march

Evaluate abstracts, rewrite

 attend Wilbert Lecture -  Dr. Alex Webb
Happy Mardi Gras - No Class - visualize!


Putting it all together - Abstracts

Intro/Methods due

write abstract; due 17 March

Manuscript for scientific journal, rewrite, revise

    Reviewing  Manuscripts

Results due

 AGI style guide - Read chpts.  6, 10, 13

Review words, figures, graphics, etc for next class
Revise -

Read: Writing Reviews: chpt. 14 Geowriting


Grant Writing:

Preparing for publication 

Abstract due:

Read 11.12 AGI guide
continue analyzing data, developing

Chpt. 15-17  AGI; Preparing paper for publication:

Homework: Writing grant application: find one for your work
  Mid-term exam!
 Part III:  Oral Scientific Communication

Professional meetings, invited lectures, thesis defense
    Dealing with Anxiety
    Target Audience - Analyzing Audience,
     Planning Presentation - Stage 1

Grant due

Homework: Revise research paper

AGI Chpt. 14, 15

Preparing oral presentation on research topic
 attend Wilbert Lecture - Dr. James van Orman, COMPRES Distinguished Lecturer
     Cognitive Style of Powerpoint

Planning Presentation - Stage 2
        Brainstorming presentation - main points
           for oral presentation on research topic

Read: Congitive Style of Powerpoint (Tufte)

Preparing oral presentation on research topic
 Visual Aids for Oral Presentations:
     Graphics, Words, Content
         slide prep.
     Review of visuals/ graphic analyses  material
  Read Chpt. 7 AGI

Preparing oral presentation on research topic

Preparing oral presentation tips
VI - Magic

Homework: finish oral presentation for practice

Read: handouts, Magic in Tufte
Student Practice - practice Oral Presentations
(AGU Style practice  judging by students)
Edit oral presentation, continue working on paper

 attend Wilbert Lecture - Dr. Warren Wood
Student Practice - practice Oral Presentations
(AGU Style practice  judging by students)
Edit oral presentation, continue working on paper
Hand in oral presentation
Developing posters: Oral and Written Communication

Review of  Posters
Preparing, presenting Posters  -
 (Powerpoint, Illustrator)
brainstorm poster, edit oral presentation
attend Wilbert Lecture - Dr. David Nelson

19 - 21

Spring Break - work hard, visualize, present, poster
edit oral presentation
Hand in oral presentation (notes on 23 April)

Poster edit - preliminary poster due in class Preliminary  poster due - print out on 8x11.5" paper
 Class review of posters


Student Research Reports - Poster Presentations AGU Style Judging by students
 Student Research Reports - Poster Presentations AGU Style Judging by students
final exam 7:30-9:30am

Oral presentation by Students:
FINAL Paper Due- well organized and well designed format for research topic
AGU Style Judging by students

last updated: January 10, 2011