Members in the Media
From: The New York Times

Learning to See Data

The New York Times:

FOR the past year or so genetic scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York have been collaborating with a specialist from another universe: Daniel Kohn, a Brooklyn-based painter and conceptual artist.

Mr. Kohn has no training in computers or genetics, and he’s not there to conduct art therapy classes. His role is to help the scientists with a signature 21st-century problem: Big Data overload.

How does this look in the real world?

Take learning to fly, a disorienting and sometimes terrifying experience that requires hundreds of hours in the air and in the classroom — many of them devoted to learning how to read an instrument panel. In the 1980s a cognitive scientist named Philip Kellman, who had studied Dr. Gibson’s work, wondered if there was a better — and quicker — way. The dials on the instrument panel are easy enough to read on their own, one at a time; but reading all of them at once, at a glance, is another skill altogether. It’s more about reflexes, and gut feeling, than reasoning.

Dr. Kellman designed a video-game-like lesson: The student sees a panel and decides quickly what the dials are saying, collectively (there are five or six of them, depending on the plane). Below the panel on the computer screen are seven choices, including “straight climb,” “descending turn” and “level turn.” A chime sounds if the answer is correct; if wrong, a burp, and the correct answer is highlighted. Then up comes the next screen, with another instrument panel, and then another: all fast-paced, with instant feedback.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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