Data Visualization Award Participants

Engage is implementing the Engaging Data Visualization for Teaching and Learning Award during the 2012-2013 academic year to study the impact and processes around the use of data visualization. Four faculty and instructional staff from schools and colleges across the campus were selected to participate in the award.

  • Visualizing and Manipulating Atmospheric Water Vapor Data
    Bill Bland, Sam Batzli - Department of Soil Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Space Science & Engineering Center
    Abstract
    The waters of Earth will remain a critical resource for humans and other living things for centuries to come. Complementing this relevance are the rich opportunities that the study of water provides for students to learn about basic physical concepts, world geography, and the powerful evolution of satellite remote sensing capabilities. New global observation technologies and networks are radically improving our understanding of Earth processes and human impacts. We propose to develop a dynamic map-based interface that will allow students to visualize and quantitatively manipulate near real-time remotely sensed data, combine and compare it with other global data sets, and conduct inquiry-based exercises about water.
  • Building a Better Model: Bacterial Structure from Stucture Data
    Timothy Paustian - Department of Bacteriology, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
    Abstract
    Understanding the structure of bacterial cells is one of the foundations that a robust knowledge of microbiology must be built upon. In the past 10 years there has been an explosion in the amount of structural data that is available for proteins (and nucleic acids and lipids). There has also been rapid progress in understanding the ultrastructure of the bacterial cell and how all the pieces work together to carry out general cell function such as: transport, DNA replication and chromosome separation. I propose to combine these two fields of study to create an up-to-date three dimensional molecular model of a bacterial cell. The model would contain accurate depictions of the structural components of the cell and also animations demonstrating how they carry out important biological functions. Several attempts at this goal are available on the web, buy they are either not comprehensive, inaccurate, or do not take advantage of structural data. The finished product would be used in multiple lectures on structure and function of the cell in several courses.
  • Data Visualization for Thermodynamics
    John Pfotenhauer - Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
    Abstract
    An easily accessible 3-diminsional graphing / simulation tool will be developed to help students in ME 361 (Thermodynamics) locate thermodynamic states and recognize significant regions within the 3-dimensional space of pressure, temperature, and specific volume. The tool will help them picture (remember?) where the various regions of subcooled liquid, superheated vapor, or the two-phase vapor dome exist relative to each other. Visualizing these concepts provides a crucial foundation for building thermodynamic understanding, and yet it typically poses a significant challenge to students. This tool will help students grasp these foundational concepts. In an advanced form, the visualization tool would also allow students to see how different thermodynamic properties (enthalpy, entropy, internal energy) vary from one region to another, and the manner that various processes determine movement from one location to another. The tool will allow students to navigate in the 3-D space by ‘playing’ with different thermodynamic variables and constraints. The effectiveness of the visualization tool for learning will be characterized through a combination of concept inventory and survey measurements. The tool will be used in a 'test' section of the ME 361 course while another section of the same course, taught without use of the visualization tool will serve as a 'control' section.
  • WiSCO Mapping: Dynamic Geospatial Visual Transformations of Dialect
    Tom Purnell - Department of English, College of Letters and Science
    Eric Raimy - Department of English, College of Letters and Science
    Joe Salmons - Department of German, College of Letters and Science
    Abstract
    We propose a geospatial visualization tool that interacts with our existing acoustic and language survey tool. DoIT’s Engage program successfully developed a teaching tool for bringing language variation to life for students. The success of this tool, WiSCO, arises by being dynamic (allowing easy individual selection of data), interactive (playing sounds to hear the differences), and by having move directly from novice (with WI region as proof of concept and moving to US) to making new insights into language. To date, we have produced three distinct components: a vowel plot, mapping tool and word survey tools. We propose to integrate all three tools to provide students a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Specifically, this tool will allow students to identify on a map speakers according word choice, vowel acoustics, or both, permit the creation, saving, and retrieval of dialect boundaries as map layers, and provide pop-up visualizations within other visualizations.
    Language Matters for Wisconsin