Who is Edward Tufte and why should I care?

Edward Tufte is an expert on presentation of data and visual information and may be most famous for his book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. In January, 2005, 28 people from UCLA attended the Edward Tufte One-Day Course on Presenting Data and Information. Among other things, he said or talked about:

  1. As viewers or consumers of charts, graphs, etc. we have two questions: First, what story are they trying to tell? Second, can we believe them? One way to increase your credibility is to give as much of your data as possible, if only in footnotes or links elsewhere. By giving the viewer a chance to check for themselves, and see that their conclusion matches yours, you gain credibility.
  2. Graphs and charts are important for how much detail they carry with them. The more the better.
  3. Cognitive Style of PowerPoint – Columbia Disaster
  4. Advice for Presentations

In February, we held an informal debriefing for those of us who went and wanted to talk about it and for others that were interested.

NOTE: All workshop recipients received copies of these three books, so if you can find one of us, there’s a decent chance you could borrow, or at least take a look at them.

One immediate benefit of the workshop here at SSC was that we redesigned our homepage to present much more information up front, instead of the standard Welcome page, and we got immediate positive feedback from our faculty. – Mike Franks, Social Sciences Computing