IMPRS workshop 'Data Visualisation: Principles and Applications'

Category: Transferable skills
Credit points: 0.4


1.  Time & place

The training is conducted over 2 full days.

December, 3-4, 2015 (Thursday - Friday)
MPI for Biogeochemistry, seminar room B0.002

Approximately timetable
Start: 9.00 am
End: 5 pm


2.  The instructor

Dr. Rick Scavetta from Science Craft


3.  The class

3.1  Description

prepared by Science Craft

This two-day workshop enables the participants to effectively create figures that add impact to their publications. The workshop is divided into two one-day modules: Principles and Applications. On the first day, the principles module will focus on topics such as understanding the purpose of a figure, choosing the most appropriate plot type, and the science of perception. On the second day, the applications module will focus on the practical implementation of data visualisation principles using the R statistical programming environment. The Grammar of Graphics plotting concept will be introduced. In this technique, we begin to understand quantitative plots like written sentences. By rearranging grammatical elements in text (punctuation, clause order), and using specific words (adjectives, adverbs), we can subtly control the message we want to communicate. The same holds true for data visualisations. Here, we rearrange layers and use specific geoms to achieve the message we want to communicate with our data visualisations.

The workshop material includes a reference book prepared by Rick.


3.2  Preparation

Participants are asked to provide a simple visualisation of their own results that will be used as a teaching example during the first day of the workshop. To take full advantage of the Applications module on the second day, participants should already be proficient with R i.e. they should understand data types, importing/exporting data, creating functions and using packages, plus R-specific programming functions, e.g. the plyr and reshape2 packages, and the base-package plot functions.

You can learn these skills in the R basics course offered in 2015.

Participants should bring their own computers with the following cross-platform software pre-installed.


3.3  Contact

For the content of the course, the instructor can be contacted directly: Dr. Rick Scavetta,
For logistic matters, please contact the IMPRS office.


4.  Feedback

Find the feedback of the participants here. Statistics and statements should not be taken as an exhaustive or exclusive list.

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