I ran across this figure from an American Meteorological Society journal article recently. It’s just a simple scatterplot, which is so easy to construct, yet this figure has so many problems. 1. False alarm ratio and probability of detection are both quantities that can have values between 0 and 1, but the x axis ranges […]
Prof. Brian Fiedler of the University of Oklahoma recently published an article in Physics Education calling for a change in direction in teaching dimensionless ratios in physics. As he advocates, The tick marks [on an axis of a graph] are pure numbers. Labels with a solidus such as R/µm are orthodox notation for what the […]
While researching the book, I discovered this Web site proclaiming the glories of the sans serif font Helvetica and bemoaning the rise of Microsoft’s rip-off font Arial. As the Web page says about Arial replacing Helvetica, “To an experienced designer, it was like asking for Jimmy Stewart and getting Rich Little.” I have to admit […]
With Adobe Illustrator and other similar graphics packages, scientists are more in control of their figures than ever before. You don’t have to rely on the default values and font types in your graphics software. One thing that you can do is create composite figures where two types of figures are combined to create a […]
Previously, I provided three items of essential reading. Here are other books that I highly recommend for improving your scientific communication skills. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING ON WRITING Cook (1986): Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing delivers a thorough accounting of the editing process. The book deals mainly with sentence-level revisions and contains […]
Serifs are those little vertical lines and flourishes at the ends of letters (like the vertical lines at the ends of the capital S or the horizontal line at the bottom of the lower-case r). Use sans serif fonts (Helvetica, Arial) because the near-uniform width of the strokes keeps the font readable when reduced in […]
This entry was written by Sabine Göke, head of the radar group at the University of Helsinki in Finland. She was awarded the Spiros G. Geotis Prize for her first poster presentation at the 28th American Meteorological Society Conference on Radar Meteorology, Austin, Texas, USA.