How to Spot Visualization Lies


How to Spot Visualization Lies

Keep your eyes open.

It used to be that we’d see a poorly made graph or a data design goof, laugh it up a bit, and then carry on. At some point though — during this past year especially — it grew more difficult to distinguish a visualization snafu from bias and deliberate misinformation.

Of course, lying with statistics has been a thing for a long time, but charts tend to spread far and wide these days. There’s a lot of them. Some don’t tell the truth. Maybe you glance at it and that’s it, but a simple message sticks and builds. Before you know it, Leonardo DiCaprio spins a top on a table and no one cares if it falls or continues to rotate.

So it’s all the more important now to quickly decide if a graph is telling the truth. This a guide to help you spot the visualization lies.

Hot electronics get magnetic cool


Hot electronics get magnetic cool


The EU-funded HYMAGINE project has combined conventional electronic transistors with new magnetism-based ‘spintronic’ devices to improve information processing speeds and reduce energy consumption.

Caption: Automatic electrical testing of hybrid CMOS/magnetic chips from HYMAGINE

Faster supercomputers demand ever smaller-scale microstructures if they are to remain on a rising performance curve. Yet as transistors shrink to the nanometre scale, so power densities and temperatures rise – and the materials they are made of can only take so much before breaking down.

HYMAGINE researchers have developed hybrid solutions combining conventional semiconductor (CMOS) components with memory devices based on magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJ). These logic/memory hybrids use much less energy than CMOS-only circuits. The magnetic memory works as fast as existing static random access memory (SRAM), but storage is more stable than SRAMs – just like in (much slower) hard disk drives.

A new spin on old technology

“Conventional electronic CMOS devices are great for logic operations but not so good for working memory,” explains Bernard Dieny who leads this project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) . “Magnetic storage is much better, because of its ability to keep the written information even when the electrical supply is switched off. In HYMAGINE we deposited MTJ memory structures (MRAMs) directly onto commercial CMOS semiconductor wafers and tested the results with great success.”

Basic MTJs have two magnetic layers separated by a thin layer of magnesium oxide. In one magnetic layer the magnetic polarity is fixed, in the other ‘free’ storage layer it can switch. The junction uses ‘spin transfer torque’ to write information, whereby electrons flowing in the device are ‘spin polarised’ and can switch the polarity in the storage layer between two (binary) states. Read operations rely on measuring the resistance through the MgO layer, which is higher with opposed polarities and lower with aligned polarities.

“When testing read/write operations in our junctions we investigated several important properties,” says Dieny. “First we demonstrated that CMOS/MTJ hybrids can operate at industry-standard speeds of around 1GHz. We found they consume a fifth of the energy needed by conventional all-CMOS systems, so they use significantly less power.

“A further critical property is the ‘endurance’ of the junction, which is the number of read/write voltage cycles it can support before failure becomes likely. Standard flash memory such as USB drives will support 100 000 cycles, but we found our hybrids have an endurance of 1015 cycles – almost unlimited for practical purposes!”

Material matters

As endurance is such a critical property for eventual take-up, the HYMAGINE team investigated the physical mechanisms causing device failure. They found that electrons tunnelling through the MgO layer are trapped at lattice defects. Trapping and untrapping of electrons can lead to high stresses in the layer leading to early material breakdown.

“We established that the density of defects, such as incorporated water molecules, must be kept low. Already a number of equipment suppliers are adapting their vacuum equipment to reduce background H2O pressures with an eye on growing markets for MTJ devices,” explains Dieny. “We also found that the endurance of a newly manufactured device can be predicted using a measure of voltage background noise. This is a significant result for chip-makers who can use such measurements as quality control steps in volume manufacturing.”

HYMAGINE also developed advanced computer-based modelling and design tools for CMOS/MTJ hybrids and incorporated these into widely-used industry-standard software packages. Building on this work, a new company eVaderis was set up to offer spintronic design services, and eventually devices to the semiconductor world.

Encouraging crosstalk

“There is too little communication between the ‘microelectronics’ and ‘magnetism’ communities in the semiconductor world, and this is holding back spintronic applications,” says Dieny. “This is why we launched annual summer schools in Grenoble on MRAM technologies – bringing researchers and engineers together to learn more about spintronics.”

Dieny is also taking spintronics further in a new ERC project called MAGICAL, which will add communications and sensor functions to low power CMOS/MTJ hybrids. “If the ‘Internet of Things’ is to advance, then low power devices are a must,” he explains. “Wearable computers, solar-powered sensors, connected pacemakers – they all demand low power solutions, and magnetism-based devices can offer these as HYMAGINE showed.”

Bernard Dieny’s achievement in the field of MRAMs was recognised with the award of the Adrien Constantin de Magny Prize by the French Académie des Sciences in 2015.

UCLA mathematicians bring ocean to life for Disney’s ‘Moana’

Full article can be found at

UCLA mathematicians bring ocean to life for Disney’s ‘Moana’

They bring the magic of realism to animation and apply this new knowledge to solve real-world problems Stuart Wolpert | January 03, 2017

Courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios

The hit Disney movie “Moana” features stunning visual effects, including the animation of water to such a degree that it becomes a distinct character in the film.

UCLA mathematics professor Joseph Teran, a Walt Disney consultant on animated movies since 2007, is under no illusion that artists want lengthy mathematics lessons, but many of them realize that the success of animated movies often depends on advanced mathematics.

“In general, the animators and artists at the studios want as little to do with mathematics and physics as possible, but the demands for realism in animated movies are so high,” Teran said. “Things are going to look fake if you don’t at least start with the correct physics and mathematics for many materials, such as water and snow. If the physics and mathematics are not simulated accurately, it will be very glaring that something is wrong with the animation of the material.”

Flipping the calculus classroom: an evaluative study

Read the full article at

Flipping the calculus classroom: an evaluative study

  1. Wes Maciejewski* Wes Maciejewski obtained his Ph.D. in mathematical biology in 2012 from Queen’s University, Canada. Since then, his research has focused on mathematics education at the tertiary level. He always welcomes unsolicited emails from potential collaborators.

+ Author Affiliations

  1. Department of Mathematics, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
  1. w.maciejewski
  • Received July 1, 2015.
  • Accepted November 1, 2015.

Next Section


Classroom flipping is the practice of moving new content instruction out of class time, usually packaging it as online videos and reading assignments for students to cover on their own, and devoting in-class time to interactive engagement activities. Flipping has garnered a large amount of hype from the popular education media and has been adopted in a variety of contexts. Despite this high amount of interest, few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of classroom flipping on student academic outcomes. Specifically, no rigorous studies of the effects of flipping a mathematics course on students’ mathematical understandings and achievement appear in the literature. This article reports results from a control group study of flipping a large (N = 690), first-year university calculus course for life sciences students. Students in the flipped course sections on average outperformed their counterparts in the traditional sections on the final exam, though only by approximately 8%. A more detailed analysis reveals the true beneficiaries in a flipped classroom—those with high basic mathematical ability and low initial calculus knowledge. Gains for this group are considerable: approximately 10% on the final, with an effect size of d = 0.56, and comparable gains on an independent measure of calculus concept mastery. This study positions classroom flipping as an effective practice in undergraduate mathematics and calls for further research into the mechanisms behind its effectiveness.

Many Business Leaders Doubt U.S. Colleges Prepare Students

Full article can be found at

Many Business Leaders Doubt U.S. Colleges Prepare Students

by Preety Sidhu and Valerie J. Calderon

Few leaders believe U.S. colleges and universities are the best

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Business leaders have doubts that higher education institutions in the U.S. are graduating students who meet their particular businesses’ needs. More than one-third of business leaders agree with the statement “higher education institutions in this country are graduating students with the skills and competences that my business needs.” About a third disagree with this statement — including 17% who strongly disagree — while another third is neutral.

These findings are from a Nov. 25-Dec. 16, 2013, telephone survey with 623 U.S. business leaders that Gallup conducted on behalf of Lumina Foundation. The sample for the business leader study is nationally representative of businesses in the U.S., with minimum quotas by sales revenue. The study gauges business leaders’ perceptions of higher education in this country. The business leader poll was conducted concurrently with the third-annual Gallup/Lumina Poll report on Higher Education.

Few Business Leaders Believe U.S. Colleges and Universities Are the Best

When asked to react to two statements about the quality of higher education in the country, 37% of business leaders agree the U.S. has the highest quality college and university system in the world, including 19% who strongly agree. Nearly as many — 32% — disagree.

The perceived deficiencies of the American higher education system, however, do not mean that employers are turning elsewhere when hiring. Slightly more than one in 10 business leaders agree that their business must hire foreign-born workers as a result of a shortage of American workers with necessary skills, including 4% who strongly agree. But 57% strongly disagree with this statement.

Although most business leaders disagree that they need to hire foreign-born workers, a majority, 61%, would favor a policy of issuing green cards to foreign-born international students who graduate from U.S. higher education institutions. And 36% would oppose it.


There is a disconnect between what business leaders need and what higher education institutions think they are producing. A separate Gallup study for Inside Higher Ed finds that 96% of chief academic officers at higher education institutions say their institution is very or somewhat effective at preparing students for the world of work. Quite the reverse, business leaders say that college graduates do not have the skills that their particular businesses need such as applicable knowledge and applied skills in the field. Even though leaders are not yet turning to foreign-born workers when hiring, they favor increasing green card policies for foreign-born international graduate students in the U.S.

There is clearly room to increase collaboration, with a strong majority of business leaders favoring an increased level of collaboration between higher education institutions and businesses. An increased level of collaboration will benefit both business leaders and higher education institutions in preparing students with the right knowledge and applied skills so that they are ready for the real world and have the best opportunity to find a good job.

Quote: “They who control the credit of the nation direct the policy of Governments”– Reginald McKenna

Article is from

Famous Quotations on Banking


Thomas Jefferson

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” –Thomas Jefferson

“… The modern theory of the perpetuation of debt has drenched the earth with blood, and crushed its inhabitants under burdens ever accumulating.” -Thomas Jefferson

James Madison

“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance.” -James Madison

“If congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.” -Andrew Jackson

Abraham Lincoln

“The Government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of consumers. By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity.” -Abraham Lincoln

“Issue of currency should be lodged with the government and be protected from domination by Wall Street. We are opposed to…provisions [which] would place our currency and credit system in private hands.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Woodrow Wilson

Despite these warnings, Woodrow Wilson signed the 1913 Federal Reserve Act. A few years later he wrote: “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” -Woodrow Wilson

Years later, reflecting on the major banks’ control in Washington, President Franklin Roosevelt paid this indirect praise to his distant predecessor President Andrew Jackson, who had “killed” the 2nd Bank of the US (an earlier type of the Federal Reserve System). After Jackson’s administration the bankers’ influence was gradually restored and increased, culminating in the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Roosevelt knew this history.

The real truth of the matter is,as you and I know, that a financial
element in the large centers has owned the government ever since
the days of Andrew Jackson… -Franklin D. Roosevelt
(in a letter to Colonel House, dated November 21, 1933)


“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” – Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, 1815

“The death of Lincoln was a disaster for Christendom. There was no man in the United States great enough to wear his boots and the bankers went anew to grab the riches. I fear that foreign bankers with their craftiness and tortuous tricks will entirely control the exuberant riches of America and use it to systematically corrupt civilization.” Otto von Bismark (1815-1898), German Chancellor, after the Lincoln assassination

“Money plays the largest part in determining the course of history.” Karl Marx writing in the Communist Manifesto (1848).

“That this House considers that the continued issue of all the means of exchange – be they coin, bank-notes or credit, largely passed on by cheques – by private firms as an interest-bearing debt against the public should cease forthwith; that the Sovereign power and duty of issuing money in all forms should be returned to the Crown, then to be put into circulation free of all debt and interest obligations…” Captain Henry Kerby MP, in an Early Day Motion tabled in 1964.

“Banks lend by creating credit. They create the means of payment out of nothing. ” Ralph M Hawtry, former Secretary to the Treasury.

“… our whole monetary system is dishonest, as it is debt-based… We did not vote for it. It grew upon us gradually but markedly since 1971 when the commodity-based system was abandoned.” The Earl of Caithness, in a speech to the House of Lords, 1997.


“The bank hath benefit of interest on all moneys which it creates out of nothing.” William Paterson, founder of the Bank of England in 1694, then a privately owned bank

“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild.

“The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.” The Rothschild brothers of London writing to associates in New York, 1863.

“I am afraid the ordinary citizen will not like to be told that the banks can and do create money. And they who control the credit of the nation direct the policy of Governments and hold in the hollow of their hand the destiny of the people.” Reginald McKenna, as Chairman of the Midland Bank, addressing stockholders in 1924.

“The banks do create money. They have been doing it for a long time, but they didn’t realise it, and they did not admit it. Very few did. You will find it in all sorts of documents, financial textbooks, etc. But in the intervening years, and we must be perfectly frank about these things, there has been a development of thought, until today I doubt very much whether you would get many prominent bankers to attempt to deny that banks create it.” H W White, Chairman of the Associated Banks of New Zealand, to the New Zealand Monetary Commission, 1955.


“Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave.” Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer.

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company.

“The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is, perhaps, the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banks can in fact inflate, mint and un-mint the modern ledger-entry currency.” Major L L B Angus.
“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent.” John Kenneth Galbraith (1908- ), former professor of economics at Harvard, writing in ‘Money: Whence it came, where it went’ (1975).

As Nicolas Trist – secretary to President Andrew Jackson – said about the incredibly powerful privately owned Second Bank of the United States, “Independently of its misdeeds, the merepower, — the bare existence of such a power, — is a thing irreconcilable with the nature and spirit of our institutions.” (Schlesinger, The Age of Jackson, p.102)