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Opportunities for Students

The Visualizing Public Life Initiative seeks to accomplish our goals by facilitating a process that will result in students designing and producing their own visual displays of data about some aspect of public life. During this program, students will be provided with several opportunities.

The culminating experience will be a juried competition and public display of student visualizations in the spring of 2013. A group of scholars and practitioners will evaluate student work, and all submissions will be displayed in a show to coincide with the annual Henry Lecture. To provide some extrinsic motivation, the Henry Institute will provide a modest amount of prize money for the selected best work.

Before the competition, students will have opportunities to develop their projects with the help of campus resources, the most important of which will be a Visualization Workshop sponsored by the Center for Social Research in October and November 2012. Each student who wishes to participate in the competition is invited to attend the workshop. The objectives of the Workshop include: (1) identification of key questions or puzzles students might want to explore in their projects, as well as possible data sources; (2) student exposure to various approaches used in the visual display of quantitative information; (3) the introduction of CSR and other campus resources for completing the project; and (4) the development of collaborative teams, where appropriate.

In addition, student participants can expect support after the Workshop. Numerous faculty on campus have committed to support student work, as needed; some have indicated a willingness and interest in integrating the project into course curricula. The Center for Social Research will be an ongoing resource, particularly by committing a Research Assistant as a support person for student participants. The Director of the Henry Institute will also work with students throughout the process, especially focusing on research design (e.g., forming research questions, understanding relevant literature, identify data sources).