Crucible Network Research Projects

Statistical persuasion authoring

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This student design project was carried out for client Simon Geard at CAD Schroer

Original design brief:

A well-presented statistical argument is very valuable. Many politicians, policy makers and members of the public find it hard to understand risk factors, likelihood, and what the priorities for action should be in an uncertain world. But Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth showed the power of well-designed statistical graphics. Web sites like http://www.gapminder.org/ help people explore political and economic statistics, and sites like http://www.understandinguncertainty.org/ help people understand statistical principles through animations of risk data. But it is hard for regular people to create sites like these (it usually involves a lot of Flash programming). Your task is to create an authoring tool that helps people communicate statistical arguments by creating interactive online graphics. They might get help to structure the arguments, as in http://compendium.open.ac.uk/. They should also be able to collect their own data from online sources, for example using data mashup tools like Yahoo Pipes.