Allen J. Hall

Materials Science & Engineering, Productivity, and Life

Data Visualization Meets Music Video…

One of the things that makes a Scientist good at what he does (and sometimes gets him serious accolades) is effective communication and visualization of his data, results, and concepts. This is helpful for everyone from the business researcher to the teaching professor (to the graduate-student).

Color: Surface Potential, Height: Z-height (AFM)

(You’ll never guess where this discussion is going, so click on through to read more and be surprised…)

To more effectively show some of the results of my Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) I learned a number of packages, including what I finally settled on for the early work: MATLAB and OpenDX / DXHDF5 (a.k.a. IBM Data Explorer). The first work was done on the Veeco Dimension 3100 with electrical module. I’ll be talking about my more preferred AFM system in the future. But, since it’s a bit of a side-track, I’ll move along… One of the more difficult aspects of visualization is how to properly show your data- especially scattered data in 3 dimensions. I finally figured out a few tricks in OpenDX.

But, never did I expect to see scatter data visualization used the way RadioHead just used it: For the primary visualization of a music video! In fact, not a single video camera was used in the making of this video.

Even better still, the band has released details of how the data was taken in a short video describing how unique the “video shoot” was, and both the actual data from the shoot as well as the programs which can be used to visualize the data! Breaking new ground; I should say so.

Image from Google Code website - Thom Yorke\'s Head - Data Visualization

So, I’m trying to resist the temptation to throw this data into OpenDX and see if I can’t do a bit of visualization of Thom Yorke’s Head… [my time is tight right now, so I think I'll decide not to try this right now...]

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A Quick Introduction...

I'm a graduate student (PhD Candidate) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I've studied and researched in two fields of Materials Science and Engineering (Polymers and Semiconductors). My interests are as diverse as my musical tastes and I usually have my hand in some crazy project during my free time.

I'm available for consulting and have access to a world-renown materials research user-facility supported by the D.O.E. If you would like to know more, please contact me.

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