This interdisciplinary graduate program brings together design, statistics, and computer science, developing critical abilities and facility for innovation in work settings in which data increasingly shapes opinion, policy, and decision-making.

Watch the Keynote Presentations


Nic Stark

Cambrian Analytica: What would it take for people to care about their personal data?

Cambrian Analytica is a speculative design project that aims to answer the question: “What would it take for people to care about their personal data?” By using real personal data to generate zoomorphic incarnations of daily behavior, the project seeks to bring attention to the opportunities for self-reflection in a digital age.

Simone Rachelle Betito

Repatriation: An Approach For A Fairer Museum

Museums are bastions of culture, they hold artifacts from all over the world. These artifacts hold different meanings to different people and some want their artifacts repatriated. Repatriation is defined as: “the restoration of something to its rightful owner.” This visualization proposes a framework to determine the suitability of repatriation of an artifact or art piece. It also maps repatriation cases worldwide and applies the framework to a sample of the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Emily Chu

Notes on Perspective: An application that visually reconstructs the thoughts and feelings which occurred during a classical musical performance

Notes on Perspective experiments with making visually tangible and beautiful the thoughts and feelings that occured during a musical performance. It is a single page application (SPA) with three states. Each state visually experiments with binding data to an abstraction of embodied experience: 1) situatedness, 2) activity and 3) perception.

Clare Churchouse

Do museums reflect who we are as a society?

Art museums are institutions that collect, curate, and exhibit works of art for the public. In so doing, they interpret, comment on, present, and shape our culture. But who works in museums and who goes to them? Two staff demographic surveys were published in 2015, one of New York City cultural grantees, the other of national art museum staff, followed by a second national survey in 2018. The latter showed changes in art museum demographics over time. These visualizations use the local survey dataset to explore racial and ethnic demographics of staff in NYC-funded museums, and probe a local museum collection dataset. What trends in museum staffing, collection acquisitions, and audience attendance are discernible from the data?

Kiril Traykov

Travel in Women’s Professional Tennis

Tennis is unique from other sports with the fact that there are no "home games" or "regional conferences" for the players and all tournaments take place in different cities throughout the world. Players on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour typically spend 10+ months of the year on the road, which could include weekly change of climates and altitudes. This project explores the annual travel path for the top 30 women tennis players in 2018 and outlines what efficiency is needed to reach the top 10.

Candice Joan Mai Chan

Opioids: The Branding and Commercialization of Pain

Over the past two decades, the branding and commercialization of opioids has created one of the greatest commercial successes and public health tragedies in the United States. Multifaceted marketing strategies, created by large pharmaceutical companies, highlight how the carefully curated image of opioids created a ubiquitous presence of the drug across the United States and changed the way Americans perceive pain.

Colleen McCaffrey

The Sum of Us: What can crowdfunding tell us about the U.S. healthcare gap?

Using a hybrid approach of structured and unstructured learning, and the people-first philosophy of human-centered design, this project aims to reveal new data and meaningful insights that can be used by healthcare policymakers and civic-minded innovators to create a more integrative healthcare system.

Batool Akbar

Understand your blood, your data.

Blood is a fascinating component of the human body. With only a few drops of blood, we can learn a lot about the conditions of our bodies. However, blood test results are usually conveyed in a complex format that is not understandable by everyone. Therefore, I built an interface that translates intricate blood test results into a simple and standardized format using interactive visualizations. The goal of this project is to provide a tool for patients to easily understand their health and bodies.

Felix Buchholz

Universal Income Guarantees. An opportunity to rethink welfare?

In a climate of polarization, a peculiar idea might have the potential to reach across political frontiers: the idea to grant every citizen a universal income guarantee. This project is not only an attempt to facilitate a nuanced debate about this policy and its possible effects on incomes in the US but also an offer to think about welfare and shared growth in general.

Mikaela Ergas Lenett

From the Supreme Court to the States: Visualizing Women’s Reproductive Rights

Throughout history, both the Supreme Court and lower levels of government have played essential roles in determining the extent to which women can legally access contraception and abortion. Making use of archival data collected by the Supreme Court as well as qualitative data about state abortion policy, this project seeks to investigate how decisions made at the Supreme Court level are implemented within the individual states.

Alonso Alcocer Guemez

2016: A Year in News – Mexico Through the Lens of U.S. Media

The following visual essay explores the behavior of the U.S. media at a historical turning point in the bilateral relations between the U.S. and Mexico. The project is based on data gathered by the team of international media analysts of former Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto. It encompasses 67 media outlets and over 7,000 articles, thus offering the reader a unique opportunity to visualize the effects of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election through the eyes of one of its closest allies.

Jed Crocker

Visually Exploring the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting is a collaboration between PBS flagship station WGBH in Boston and the Library of Congress. This is a tool to visually explore and discover the unique public non-commercial media that exists within this collection.

Stephanie Yung

All the Queens Voices: An Oral History, Visualized. A data visualization of Queens Memory program`s 400+ oral history interviews collected in Queens, New York

Oral history is a method of historical inquiry rooted in dialogue between an interviewer and an interviewee. The practice predates the written word, yet persists to the current digital age. Oral history bridges the gap between what is captured in history books and the individual experience. As oral history has shifted into the digital age, rich debate has ensued surrounding best practices and new questions and issues continue to arise as technologies advance. One of these touch points is on how far oral history can and should stray from its rooting in the oral and aural tradition. This project seeks to explore whether oral history, a fundamentally oral/aural experience, can and should be visualized. Partnering with Queens Memory, an oral history program based in the Queens Public Library system of New York City, interview sound files and interview metadata were collected, analyzed and visualized.

Isabel Verkes

Passive Activism: Environmental shareholder activism and the role of index funds

The increase in passively invested money, index funds, is affecting the relationship between management and shareholders in basically every listed U.S. company. As index funds account for a larger share of the stock market, more voting power lies with the largest fund managers. As activists have been submitting more shareholder proposals on environmental issues, how did this voting power of index funds play out?

Suzanna Schmeelk

Identity Theft: Anatomy of a Data Breach

This thesis examines identity theft through the lens of medical record data breaches. In the United States the federally regulated HIPAA/HITECH regulations require public notifications of breached electronic patient health identifiers. Our work explores identity theft, the regulations, and visualizes the notification health data breaches that have been publicly posted by the U.S. Heath and Human Resources Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR).

Andrew Levinson

The United States Water Crisis: How changes to the natural water cycle and increasing demand are causing water stress

Freshwater has been described as the oil of the 21st century. In the wake of extreme water stress events across the globe in places like Cape Town, Mexico City, and Australia, I wanted to explore often overlooked water issues here at home in the United States. Major factors like population growth and climate change are causing local pockets of water stress that will soon affect other areas of the country without action. In order to change our relationship with water, action must come in the form of both infrastructure investments and behavioral changes.

Michael Wolf

How Fragile is the Sahel? An analytical perspective on fragility and its indicators.

The Sahel region in northern Africa is a place where the member countries are joined by conflict and depravations. While it has historically been largely arid and difficult area in which to survive, the situation has worsened manifold since the region experienced its worst drought for decades in 2010. This drought which has stressed governmental services as it has allowed a new sort of terrorism to flourish. The UN has organized several missions in the region in hopes of stabilizing the situation but has often met with limited success. This work will focus on examining what it means when a state is defined by multilateral organizations as being fragile. The rehetoric will be understood through indicators measuring climate change, the activities of al-Qaida, Boko Haram, the Islamic State, and other violent actors in the region via the ACLED dataset, and the degradaton of trust in public services and other political instabilities each of these have engendered.

Grace Martinez

Self-Storage Nation

Catering to America’s material overflow, the self-storage industry has exploded into a booming $36 billion dollar market. Nearly 1 out of 10 American households currently rent a self storage unit and it’s continually growing. Visualizing survey data, this project examines how customers participate in this industry, revealing how self-storage is a window into America’s relationship to consumption.

Aaditi Rokade

Visualizing the impact of climate change on flight experience: An exploration of domestic travel sector of civil aviation in India

This visualization explores the trends in flight cancellations and passenger complaints for some major airline carriers operating in the civil aviation sector of India's transportation for years 2014-18. These trends are visualizaed based on temperature and rainfall trends(2014-2018) and upcoming holidays(2019). Being a tropical country, India experiences prominent seasons that inflence air travel, specifically, the flight experience.

Ryan Best

Drawing Discrimination

This visualization explores redlining and discriminatory federal New Deal housing policy’s lasting impact on homeownership, home equity, and wealth building opportunities across New York City