LAWRENCE — The Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI) has relaunched the AAI Speaker Series, featuring noted individuals in the fields of assessment, statistics, education and more. Presenters will offer talks appealing to many disciplines of study, with events occurring on the University of Kansas campus.
“We hope the series creates dialogues and inspires students, researchers and educators of all kinds,” said Neal Kingston, AAI director and University Distinguished Professor.
“As with much of our outreach work, through this series we seek to build bridges across different sciences and arts.”
Exemplifying this guiding philosophy, AAI has tapped noted author and statistician Howard Wainer to deliver two talks Nov. 15. Wainer is the recipient of numerous academic awards and honors, and he is the author of nearly 25 books, with hundreds of articles and book chapters to his name.
His most recent book, co-written with Michael Friendly, is “A History of Data Visualization and Graphic Communication” (Harvard University Press, 2021) and provides “a comprehensive history of data visualization — its origins, rise and effects on the ways we think about and solve problems.” Before this, Wainer published “Truth or Truthiness: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction by Learning to Think Like a Data Scientist” (Cambridge University Press, 2016), which was listed in the top six books of the year by the Financial Times of London.
Both of Wainer’s presentations will draw on his recent work and will be livestreamed:
“Civis, Smartphones, and Score Report: How Effective Communication Requires the Same Qualities of Being an Effective Citizen”
1-2 p.m. Nov. 15, 201 Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Wainer will explore how to improve different kinds of written communications, ranging over score reports for mental tests, health reports from medical tests, and the outcomes of other deliberative processes
“Graphs as Poetry: C.J. Minard, W.E.B. Du Bois and Visualizing the Great Migration”
3-4 p.m. Nov. 15, 150 Joseph R. Pearson Hall
At their best, visualizations can communicate emotions and feelings in addition to cold, hard facts. In this talk, Wainer will explore how sometimes, albeit too rarely, the combination of critical questions addressed by important data and illuminated by evocative displays can achieve a transcendent, and often wholly unexpected, result.
A reception will follow the second event. Individuals interested in watching the stream are encouraged to register at this link.
The Achievement & Assessment Institute (AAI) is one of 12 designated research institutes at the University of Kansas. AAI and its centers partner with numerous agencies to improve the lives of children and adults through academics, employment, career advancement and building healthy environments, as well as to enhance the capacity of organizations that help children, adults and communities succeed.