Understanding data by touching it (I'm Tech)

Header image source Samuel Huron/Flickr

Reading and understanding data is not always a simple task. To make it easier, Samuel Huron is developing tools that allow us to handle data physically. The Télécom Paris researcher in data visualization and representation seeks to make complex information understandable to the general public.

Before numbers were used, merchants used clay tokens to perform mathematical operations. These tokens allowed them to represent numerical data in a graphical, physical way, and handle it easily. This kind of token is still used in schools today to help young children become familiar with complex concepts like addition and cardinality.

« This very simple tool can open the door to highly complex representations, such as the production of algorithms », says Samuel Huron, a researcher at Télécom Paris in the fields of data visualization and interactive design.
Visual data representation