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Eloquent Science: Chapter 11 Figures

I received a request from a professor who uses Eloquent Science in the classroom. He wanted the figures from Chapter 11: Figures and Tables, so that he could adapt them into his own presentations. In response to that request, here they are, in a single PowerPoint file: Eloquent Science: Figures from Chapter 11

The Importance of a Clearly Written and Complete Caption

June 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Posters, Writing

I never tire of this analogy. For the answer, click here. From Style for Students by Joe Schall.

Avoiding pie charts

June 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Posters, Writing

Are these individual pie charts easy to get quantitative information from? How about when presented like this? As you can see, obtaining quantitative information from pie charts is near impossible. And, if you want to compare two of them, you can generally tell only the most obvious differences. A more carefully constructed plot using horizontal […]

Statistical Traps to Avoid #1: Autocorrelation

May 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

Eddie Haam and K.K. Tung (2012, J. Atmos. Sci.) examine the purported relationship between the 11-year solar cycle and 2–4-year cycle in La Niña. The authors demonstrate that there is no relationship between these two variables that they have found that is statistically significant. Instead, the autocorrelation between the two quasi-periodic variables is likely to […]

The size of figures submitted for peer review

May 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

A common concern when reviewing a manuscript is, “Are the figures going to be legible when published in the journal?” Notice how small and unreadable the figure is above. You can click on it to see it in full size.) As you may know, the digital files for the figures are uploaded to the publishers’ […]

Reviewer wants “media-friendly schematic”

March 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Reviewing, Writing

This comment appeared in a review of a paper for which I am serving as Editor. “I suggest creating a media-friendly schematic showing the basic conclusions of how ….” Given all the recent publicity about …, I believe this paper will attract media interest, and a schematic like this will be useful for explaining the […]

An example of an excellent figure

March 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

I had been showing this figure to several students recently about an effective way to plot a lot of spatial data without the figure looking cluttered. I think this is one excellent way to do it. The plots are all ordered around the perimeter of the map, yet the points take you to the locations […]

Teller on Communicating Science

February 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

No, not Edward Teller, but Teller of the magic act Penn and Teller. The Smithsonian magazine’s March 2012 issue has an article written by Teller, available online. In the article, Teller explains seven principles for how magicians convince the audience of the trick. After reading them, I think many could be equally applied to convincing […]

One of the most challenging (and satisfying) articles I’ve written

December 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Articles, Blog, Featured, News, Writing

I recently coauthored a paper that has now been accepted for publication in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Schultz, D. M., and G. Vaughan, 2011: Occluded fronts and the occlusion process: A fresh look at conventional wisdom. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 92, doi: 10.1175/2010BAMS3057.1. This paper is the first one I’ve written solely […]

If a tree falls in the forest…

This month’s issue of the Annals of Improbable Research answers the question of whether a tree falling in the forest will make a sound if no one is around to hear it. The answer is yes (Melchior 2010). Moreover, the bigger the tree, the louder the sound. What I like about this article is that […]

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