Archive for October, 2006

How the visualization of complex data helps mathematicians to think

Posted on October 31, 2006. Filed under: English |

There is a long history of visualization of complex data, starting with the invention of the pie and bar charts to the representation of fractals by French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot in the seventies. These techniques are used for different objectives.

Its is still unclear how some geniuses "see" the results of complex calculations in the minds before telling it, and I would have loved discussing with Nikola Tesla, famous scientist from Serbia. He was able to manipulate complex concepts and algorythms in his mind the same way we manipulate building blocks or food ingredients to come to a completely new result, in a process often called picture thinking.

There has always been an attraction by the scientists to graphical representations of things a man could not normally see or understand, and numerous competions are often organized. The objective being here more educational, for the masses to see and touch areas of science they would usually shrug off as being useless. See the recent Science contest.

Computer-generated rendering of five famous mathematical surfaces
 

Some extreme examples include topologists, mathematicians who study imaginary multidimensional shapes (like Möbius strips, torus, manifold, …). In a recent article by Wired there was even one who designs them using only Lego bricks !

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The Wiki of InfoVis (Information Visualization)

Posted on October 18, 2006. Filed under: English |

Sometimes outdated and a bit messy in its design (I am not a major fan of Wikis Wink) it is a major source for all kinds of links and references about InfoVis. I ca not recommend more its reading. It is hosted by the Institute of Software technology & Interactive Systems at Vienna University of Technology.

http://www.infovis-wiki.net/index.php/Main_Page

You will find regular news on events and a whos'who on the subject

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