November 09, 2016 | News

Rostock Retreat on data visualization

In June 2017 the MPIDR hosts the Rostock Retreat on data visualization. The retreat aims to bring together people  interested in the visualization of population data. Applications will be accepted until January 15, 2017.

"We want to test a new event format that puts an emphasis on interaction between participants," explains Sebastian Klüsener, one of the organizers of the retreat. He adds: "At many scientific events people say afterwards that the best part was the coffee breaks, where they could interact with their colleagues – we want to do better."

The retreat will take place at the MPIDR from June 26 to June 28, 2017, and the closing date for applications is January 15, 2017. A colorful mixture of group work, discussions and presentations of the results will take place. For example, the work that the participants submit when applying for the event is discussed, but there is also time for analyzing and visualizing data together on the spot. There will be a "viz slam session", in which participants are invited to present cutting edge visualizations. Another session format will be a "speed data-ing", in which participants swap research data and are tasked with visualizing each other’s material.

"Demography has made important contributions to data visualization. However, as the visualization field develops fast, it is important to keep up to date," says Mikko Myrskylä, executive director of the MPIDR. And this is what the organizers want to provide with this event. As key note speakers, they were able to attract three luminaries in data visualization: Michael Friendly from York University Toronto, Canada, Dino Citraro from Periscopic, a US-based data visualization firm, and James Cheshire from University College London, UK.

The organizers hope that scientists from different seniority levels and disciplines, as well as some non-scientific data visualizers, will be interested in the event. "We want to mix together quite different people and perspectives for this retreat," says co-organizer Tim Riffe.

Before the retreat, a three-day R-Visualization course will take place within the framework of the International Advanced Studies in Demography school. Participants of the workshop can also apply for this course and will have privileged access.

The most exciting visualizations prepared for or during the event will be published in a special edition of an open access online journal - possibly in Demographic Research.

"If the format is successful, there will be more retreats of this kind on different themes," says Tim Riffe.

More Information - Detailed information about the retreat


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The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.