stat 332

Final Project

Due Dates

Nov 5/Nov 17/Dec 3

The goal of the final project is to create an aesthetically pleasing chart based on real data that `tells a story' to the reader.


For this project you are asked to identify both topic and data by yourself. The topic should be within the realm of general knowledge and interest.

The final product of this project is a graphical display based on the data you identified that captures the essence of the topic and tells the audience a story contained in the data.

As you begin your design process, define the rhetorical situation: who your users are (your audience), what you want them to accomplish with your display (your purpose), and the situation in which they'll interpret it (reading a report, attending a presentation, etc.). These factors should play a major role in how your design your displays.


There are several parts to this project: In the first, you'll need to identify a suitable topic for your project. In the second step, work out how and which data you will use. These two steps are linked - you might have great ideas for topics, but if you cannot find suitable data, it might not be advisable to proceed.

Next, discuss ways & methods to display the data. The end result of this step should be a sketch of your final chart (and interactive features of it) together with an idea of how to implement your idea, i.e. how to solve the technical aspects of drawing the chart.

In the last part, you'll implement/polish the chart & write-up an accompanying report explaining both conclusions an audience can draw from your chart and the choices you made on the cognitive aspects of the chart.

When you write your report, tell us how you made your design choices in response to the rhetorical situation. For example, if you're displaying environmental data to Iowans to persuade them to recycle, you might use relatively common displays like pie, line, or bar charts, and you might use the color green to complement the topic and to suggest the positive results your readers' actions will achieve. If you're displaying data for an audience of professional accountants, you will likely choose data display conventions common to the accounting profession and choose colors and other graphical elements that create a professional, business-like tone. If you're creating displays so readers can make important financial or medical decisions, you'll need to pay special attention to ethical issues as you construct your charts by avoiding distortions and building confidence in your readers that the displays are honest and objective. If you're designing charts for the elderly, you'll need to ensure that the displays are perceptually appropriate for this age group. Here's an outline of the topics that your report should consider.

Topics & Schedule of Presentations

Tuesday Schedule

Date Name Project
2:10 - 2:20 Kendra Laubenthal Charting data about Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) for those who have this medical condition
2:20-2:30 Jason Anderson Relationship between university enrollment and unemployment rates in states
2:30-2:40 Jinhee Kim Interactive map showing data about cases of H1N1 virus in regions across the U.S.
2:40-2:50 Dipayan Mitra Success of major college football programs (as measured by victories in bowl games) versus money invested in the program.
2:50-3:00 Jesse Blanner Data displays about employment opportunities and compensation in the graphic design field
3:00-3:10 Michael Van Waardhuizen Charting data from tests with instructional videos on sign-language

Thursday Schedule

Date Name Project
2:10-2:20 Amalia Easton Data displays for a proposal for Safe Zones in high schools
2:20-2:30 Dathan Verzani Comparison of sales' numbers of different games consoles, data based on wikipedia compilation.
2:30-2:40 Michael Jensen Interactive comparison of tuition costs of Iowa colleges and universities for prospective students
2:40-2:50 Jenna Weir Displaying data about college student consumer spending to help students budget their funds
2:50-3:00 Liu Lan Development of the Gross Domestic Product over time, based on data by U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis
3:00-3:10 Matt Witt Charting baseball data about offensive performance (e.g., on-base percentage and slugging percentage, based on