Recently we told you about Edward Tufte being appointed to be an adviser to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board. We have recently run across two articles that have been posted talking about Edward Tufte. First up, the New York Times talks to Tufte about his appointment:
“Political practice today too often skips right by evidence,” he said by e-mail. “When I listen to True Believers (left or right) talk about the problems that governments are seeking to solve, I keep muttering to myself, ‘How boring, it’s more complicated than that.’ And those who best know that it’s more complicated than that are public servants.”
The second article is an interview of Edward Tufte from On the Media (NPR):
BOB GARFIELD: The data among different agencies doesn’t necessarily conform. They have different ways of measuring appropriations and expenditures, and it’s really hard to get a fix. There’s not only apples and oranges, but there’s grapefruits and strawberries and kumquats out there. What’s a graphics guru to do?
EDWARD TUFTE: Probably the first thing that most people do when they go to the website is they type in their zip code, and up pops up all the stimulus projects in their area. And what’s interesting about this, it’s a huge database and the particular viewer has no interest in 99 percent of it, but via the zip code they can make it special for them, as can everybody else.
via Link by Link – Advising Recovery Board on Offering Clear Data – NYTimes.com.
via : Minister of Information
Visualization Guru Edward Tufte has received the honor (some would say curse) of being on President Obama’s Recovery Independent Advisory Panel. If you haven’t heard of it:
“The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with two goals:
- To provide transparency in relation to the use of Recovery-related funds.
- To prevent and detect fraud, waste, and mismanagement.
Earl E. Devaney was appointed by President Obama to serve as chairman of the Recovery Board. Twelve Inspectors General from various federal agencies serve with Chairman Devaney. The Board issues quarterly and annual reports to the President and Congress and, if necessary, “flash reports” on matters that require immediate attention. In addition, the Board maintains the Recovery.gov website so the American people can see how Recovery money is being distributed by federal agencies and how the funds are being used by the recipients.
Mission statement: To promote accountability by coordinating and conducting oversight of Recovery funds to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse and to foster transparency on Recovery spending by providing the public with accurate, user-friendly information.”
On his site, Tufte’s response:
I’m doing this because I like accountability and transparency, and I believe in public service. And it is the complete opposite of everything else I do. Maybe I’ll learn something. The practical consequence is that I will probably go to Washington several days each month, in addition to whatever homework and phone meetings are necessary.
Congratulations to Edward Tufte! Glad to have a true expert in the field up in Washington, although only time will tell if he actually has any power to effect change.
via Ask E.T.: Edward Tufte Presidential Appointment.
The State of California has produced an impressive interactive tool for viewing ARRA expenditures for various counties in the state, separated by boundy and type of expense.
This page provides information about projects known to have been awarded Recovery funding within the geographic boundaries of California, by County. The California Recovery Task Force continues to receive federal guidelines and information regarding additional projects awarded Recovery funding. This map will be updated as additional information becomes available.
This representation does not satisfy federal reporting requirements and is not the state’s official, comprehensive reporting mechanism for Recovery Act funding. It has been created and displayed as a service to the citizens of California.
The interactive tool gives a great glimpse into how the money has been spent. Even if you don’t live in California, you might want to check this out.
via California Economic Recovery Portal – Stimulus Map.
Yesterday we announced that the University of Texas at San Antonio won a $5 million grant that comes from funds in the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. Today, we announced that the University of Arkansas received a $3.3M grant from the same source. Given that this money was supposed to aid in the recent economic downturn by creating jobs, how do you feel about it being used in this way?
Put your answers in the comments on whether you think it’s a good idea, or a big mistake?
Researchers at the University of Arkansas and other colleges have received a $3.3 Million grant from the NSF, via more ARRA funds, called the “CI-TRAIN”, or Cyberinfrastructure for Transformational Scientific Discovery in Arkansas and West Virginia (yeah, the acronym and the words don’t match up.. guess that wasn’t a requirement for the grant proposal).
From a research perspective, the overall goal of the project is to create a nationally competitive environment for computation and visualization – techniques for creating images, diagrams and animations of scientific concepts and processes – and to develop both hardware and software to create and capture data that will enable a broad range of research in science and engineering.
It does involve procurement of one large cluster, to be at Arkansas, as well. Just like yesterday’s announcement, glad to see money invested in Cyberinfrastructure and Vis, but not so sure it’s the best use of ARRA funds.
via State Researchers Receive $3.3M Stimulus Grant for Cyberinfrastructure – ArkansasBusiness.com.
A team from the University of Texas at San Antonio has won a $5 Million grant from the NSF, funded via the ARRA, to build the “Simulation, Visualization & Real-time Prediction (SiViRT) Center”.
“The SiViRT Center will offer a platform for engineering, science, statistics, biology and medicine experts from across the university and South Texas to conduct fundamental and collaborative research with real-world applications,” said Efstathios (Stathis) Michaelides, the grant’s principal investigator and professor and chair of the UTSA Department of Mechanical Engineering. “In addition, by offering lectures, scholarships and the opportunity to work on serious research projects, the SiViRT Center will attract students of all levels, from those attending high school on up to those pursuing their doctorate degrees.”
The center will be split into three teams, each led by an engineering faculty member.
Those teams include the imaging team led by Sos Agaian, Peter Flawn Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; the real-time prediction team, led by Yusheng Feng, associate professor of mechanical engineering; and the uncertainty quantification team, led by Harry Millwater, associate professor of mechanical engineering.
Not so sure how I feel about the ARRA funds being spent on “collaborative research”, but I always like seeing money spent on visualization research.
via UTSA wins $5 million for new Simulation, Visualization and Real-Time Prediction Center.