Reading Assignment 1: Getting Started

by Mike Gleicher on January 17, 2015

Discussion link: on Canvas

This assignment is due before class on Thursday, January 22, although there is leniency.

Since there’s only 1 day to do this, this is a kind of light reading assignment. A big part of it is to make sure that the class infrastructure works OK – that you can access the protected reader, post things on Canvas, etc.

It will also test out that we can set up Canvas to take a discussion – even though you might not have much to discuss.

For this assignment, please read:

  1. The course web page. Generally, news will come out in a linear fashion, so keeping up with the course web is easy. But to start out with, there’s a jumble of content.
  2. The “frontmatter” (preface) of the Munzner textbook. This is valuable since it explains the philosophy behind the book (which matches the philosophy of the course pretty well). We want to make sure you can find things in the protected reader, so I am not giving you more instructions. You can figure it out from 1.
  3. Stephen Few. Data Visualization for Human Perception. (online article at This is a nice overview article that will give you a sense of a lot of the topics in this class.

For the “reading discussion” please make an posting that says: (1) one thing you read about in the Few article that you’d like to learn more about in class (OK, you can list more than one), (2) one topic that is in the Munzner book that you’d like to learn more about (the preface has an outline of the book, but feel free to flip through the rest), and (3) one other thing you’d like to get out of this class. Note: if you can’t come up with an answer to this question, maybe you shouldn’t be taking this class (something should interest you).

And, to make it a discussion – comment on at least one of the other people in your discussion group’s answer to this question.

Warning: The next reading assignment is much bigger, you might want to get a start on it.

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