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Presenting data and information

I spent yesterday at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront in an Edward Tufte course titled 'Presenting Data and Information'. The course is taught by Edward Tufte himself and contained some interesting material, from the analysis of the Columbia disaster, to Galileo's sunspots, Euclid's Elements and the SARS spread. It was refreshing to actually take some lecture-based training (as opposed to the the 'unconventional' format that seems to make up the bulk of my recent experience). I didn't leave with a set of techniques to suddenly cast information more effectively, and nor did I expect to, but instead there were a number of provocative discussions that prompted further thought.

Four books are given as part of the class materials and they are truly delightful to browse. Incredible attention to presentation and detail (well, duh) make them compelling reading and as such they have secured a prime location on the coffee table.