BRAG for 2013

The fornightly meetings for my stats group, BRAG, started up again two weeks ago and I’ve put my hand up to chair the meetings. I totally flubbed it this morning by forgetting we’d switched the start times to 10.30 instead of 11. Today’s meeting was less of a formal meeting and more of an exploration of QUT”s “The Cube“, a new resource provided in the Science and Engineering Faculty’s new building.

CubIT, a unique system at the Cube that allows the general public to collaborate with and access research content shared by QUT's students and academics. Photo copyright QUT.

CubIT, a unique system at the Cube that allows the general public to collaborate with and access research content shared by QUT’s students and academics. Photo copyright QUT.

Marcus Rittenbruch showed us a bit about what CubIT is, how it works and what the plans are for the future. There are a bunch of touch screens that the public can interact with as part of The Cube, and CubIT is the system that allows you to use it. If you’re a QUT student or staff member you can register an account and upload media (photos, text notes, video) through either the mobile web interface or the iPhone app. Then you swipe in using the card readers at the bottom of the screens and move your media around the screens, including dragging to the top bar so you can make a slideshow on the large non-touch screen.

There are plans to include PDF and HTML support so you can run through presentation slides and refer to web pages when necessary. I think that’d be a pretty neat way to give a presentation. There’s a booking system which is yet to be made available online but when that’s up and running it’d be an interesting way to show potential collaborators what we can do.

Over the next few meetings in BRAG we’ll be presenting on visualisation, similar to the computational talks that featured in the second half of last year. While not strictly Bayesian in nature, the talks will give examples of how to visualise different types of data and methods of analysis. I’ve put my hand up with Sama Low Choy to talk about some of the guiding principles of data visualisation that Tufte came up with. I know they’ve certainly helped when I’ve been writing papers and hopefully we can come up with a nice little talk that discusses the principles and gives some examples of good and bad graphs and discuss how we can apply the principles to make the graphs better. I’m very interested to see how others approach visualisation, particularly the common issues we have such as parameter summaries and then the specific issues such as visualising mixtures, high dimensional data, spatial information, etc.

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