Penn State

Andrew N. Vavreck - Associate Professor of Engineering, Penn State Altoona

Book Title: The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Author: Edward R. Tufte

Book Description:

The clear presentation of data is paramount for the engineer (and in many, many other fields, of course), who must often communicate complex information to a wide audience in limited space or time. This book is the first of a excellent series from the author, each of which beautifully deals with how to accurately, succinctly, yet creatively, communicate data of various sorts. If the reader will use some of the techniques suggested, and more often try to think of interesting but efficient ways to show data, the number of dry, illegible or ponderous tables and graphs, especially in electronic presentations, could be reduced, to the great relief of those in the audience. In addition, digesting the principles of "graphical integrity" which this book describes will also make the reader a more critical consumer of the tables and graphs of others, many of which mislead.

My hope is that this book both inspires my fellow engineers to rise above the data they're representing and free the artist within, and enlightens them to recognize when others have not met their responsibility for clarity in graphical communications.


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