stat/engl 332


Visual Communication of Quantitative Information

Learning outcomes:

This course will help to prepare you to be active citizens in the information technology age. We will develop critical thinking skills about how information is visually presented, and we will learn how to accurately and attractively communicate quantitative information using graphics. At the end of the course you will:


Beautiful Visualization, edited by Julie Steele and Noah Iliinsky. O'Reilly Press: Sebastopol, CA, 2010.


Exam (historical graphics): 10%; evaluation assignments (one individual, two small group): 30%; design assignments (one individual, three small group): 40%; portfolio and presentation: 15%; completing readings, and blogging your comments: 5%.

To do well in this course you will need to spend 2-3 hours a week (outside of class!), and the weekly homeworks are designed to encourage you do that. For each homework you will need to revise the weeks work, and synthesise some new information, from the help pages or the web. You're welcome to help each other, but I expect you to hand in individual homeworks.

I'll publish (anonymously) a few of the best answers each week so you can learn from each other. If you don't want yours to be published, please let me know.


Attendance in class is expected, and will be monitored. Three absences will jeopardize your final grade.

Late Policy

A 20% reduction in score will result for each day after the due date.

Academic Dishonesty

The class will follow Iowa State University's policy on academic dishonesty. Anyone suspected of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Students Office.

Disability Accommodation

Iowa State University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Sect 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If you have a disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this course, please contact (instructor name) to set up a meeting within the first two weeks of the semester or as soon as you become aware of your need. Before meeting with (instructor name), 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 515-294-7220 or email . Retroactive requests for accommodations will not be honored.

Dead Week

This class follows the Iowa State University Dead Week guidelines as outlined in

Harassment and Discrimination

Iowa State University strives to maintain our campus as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students that is free of all forms of prohibited discrimination and harassment based upon race, ethnicity, sex (including sexual assault), pregnancy, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or status as a U.S. veteran. Any student who has concerns about such behavior should contact his/her instructor, Student Assistance at 515-294-1020 or email dsosas@, or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at 515-294-7612.

Religious Accommodation

If an academic or work requirement conflicts with your religious practices and/or observances, you may request reasonable accommodations. Your request must be in writing, and your instructor or supervisor will review the request. You or your instructor may also seek assistance from the Dean of Students Office or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance.

Contact Information

If you are experiencing, or have experienced, a problem with any of the above issues, email