Visualizing and understanding uncertainty (Sponsored by Society for News Design) **pre-registered attendees only

  • Event: 2017 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Alberto Cairo of University of Miami; Jen Christiansen of Scientific American; Mark Hansen of Columbia Journalism School
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Mar. 4 at 2:15pm
  • Location: City Terrace 7
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Statistics is the science of uncertainty. It’s an invaluable tool for journalists trying to help readers and viewers make good choices with imperfect data. But though our models come with uncertainty, we are sometimes bad at helping readers understand the uncertainty that’s built into our work. Science is not far ahead of us -- look at the uncertainty cone in a hurricane, which lay readers often mistake for hurricane size. Look at how readers misinterpreted election predictions, even when they came with confidence intervals or likelihood measurements. How can we explain uncertainty better so that readers understand it? This is designed to be a hands-on collaborative workshop in which science communicators and visual journalists discuss the state of the art in visualizing uncertainty, then come up with some new directions via sketching and prototyping.

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Computers will not be provided for this workshop so please bring your laptop.

NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

Speaker Bios

  • Alberto Cairo is the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami and the director of the Visualization Program at UM's Center for Computational Science. He's been a graphics director a media publications in Spain and Brazil, and he's currently a consultant for companies like Google. He's also the author of several books about visualization, such as 'How Charts Lie' (2019) and 'The Truthful Art' (2016). @albertocairo

  • Jen Christiansen is senior graphics editor at Scientific American, where she art directs and produces data visualizations and illustrated graphics. She began her publishing career at Scientific American as an intern in 1996, moved to DC to join the art department at National Geographic, spent four years as a freelance science communicator, then rejoined the SciAm team in 2007. @ChristiansenJen

  • Mark Hansen is a Professor in the Columbia Journalism School where he also serves as director of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation. Prior to joining Columbia, he was a professor in the Department of Statistics at UCLA. Hansen began his career as a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ. He holds a BS in Applied Math from UC Davis, and a PhD and MA in Statistics from UC Berkeley. @cocteau

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