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data visualization + art

Aleph 2 — official music video

MAX COOPER'S ALEPH 2 | From Max Cooper's album Yearning for the Infinite. Music by Max Cooper. Animation by Martin Krzywinski.

Aleph 2 — live at the Barbican in London

MAX COOPER'S ALEPH 2 | From Max Cooper's album Yearning for the Infinite. Music by Max Cooper. Animation by Martin Krzywinski.
My animation of 5 dimensions sets the stage for Max Cooper's track Ascent from his new album Unspoken Words.
Another mathy collaboration with Max!

Infinity with Max Cooper — In Six Minutes

To see a World in a grain of sand,
And Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
—William Blake

1 · The story of infinity in 6 minutes

In collaboration with Max Cooper, we tell a story about infinity in 6 minutes (and 34 seconds).

What's the story about? Natural numbers, integers, rationals, reals, power sets and the cardinality of the continuum — a real visual parade of numbers.

But math is a serious matter — so we include two of Cantor's diagnoal proofs in the video. Watch as we show that the size of the set of rational numbers is the same as the set of natural numbers (making them countable) but that the size of the set of real numbers is larger (making them uncountable).

2 · Aleph 2 — Yearning for the Infinite

In science one tries to tell people,
in such a way as to be understood by everyone,
something that no one ever knew before.
But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.
—Paul Dirac, Mathematical Circles Adieu by H. Eves [quoted]

The style of Aleph 2 is that of a low-fi terminal. We used the Classic Console font by Csaba Széll, which I extended to include more set theory symbols (download extended font).

The animation was closely synchronized to the music, all the while trying to avoid looking too much like something from the Matrix movie.

3 · Video walkthrough

To help you interpret what you are seeing, I walk you through the video and introduce you some advanced concepts of set theory. This way, next time you see an equation like `|\mathbb{R}| = | \mathbb{P}(\mathbb{N}) | = 2^{\aleph_0}`, you'll sprout a smile of joy.

Yearning for the Infinite - Max Cooper and Martin Krzywinski - Visualization of Infinity and Pi / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
We begin counting the natural numbers, whose cardinality is `|\mathbb{N}| = \aleph_0`. Screenshot from Max Cooper's Aleph 2 (Yearning for the Infinite). (Max Cooper/Martin Krzywinski)
Yearning for the Infinite - Max Cooper and Martin Krzywinski - Visualization of Infinity and Pi / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A bijection between the naturals and integers demonstrating that both have the same cardinality. Screenshot from Max Cooper's Aleph 2 (Yearning for the Infinite). (Max Cooper/Martin Krzywinski)
Yearning for the Infinite - Max Cooper and Martin Krzywinski - Visualization of Infinity and Pi / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A bijection between the naturals and rationals. We traversing the table of rationals in a zig-zag manner. Screenshot from Max Cooper's Aleph 2 (Yearning for the Infinite). (Max Cooper/Martin Krzywinski)
Yearning for the Infinite - Max Cooper and Martin Krzywinski - Visualization of Infinity and Pi / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
We alter the digits on the diagonal to create a real that is nowhere in the list. Screenshot from Max Cooper's Aleph 2 (Yearning for the Infinite). (Max Cooper/Martin Krzywinski)
Yearning for the Infinite - Max Cooper and Martin Krzywinski - Visualization of Infinity and Pi / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Power set elements of naturals (left) and reals (right). The size of these sets is separated by one step in the hierarchy of Aleph numbers, if the Continuum Hypothesis is true. Screenshot from Max Cooper's Aleph 2 (Yearning for the Infinite). (Max Cooper/Martin Krzywinski)
Yearning for the Infinite - Max Cooper and Martin Krzywinski - Visualization of Infinity and Pi / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Aleph remains. Screenshot from Max Cooper's Aleph 2 (Yearning for the Infinite). (Max Cooper/Martin Krzywinski)

These pages describe the system I build to generate the animation and the mathematics behind infinity, including sets, cardinality, countability, $\aleph$ and the Continuum Hypothesis.

I also present the animation system I built for the video, which was coded from scratch.

4 · My other collaborations with Max

If you like infinity, you might like dimensions too.

Check out my video for Max Cooper's Ascent, which animates 5-dimensional cubes doing their confusing things.

My animation of 5 dimensions sets the stage for Max Cooper's track Ascent from his new album Unspoken Words.
news + thoughts

How Analyzing Cosmic Nothing Might Explain Everything

Thu 18-01-2024

Huge empty areas of the universe called voids could help solve the greatest mysteries in the cosmos.

My graphic accompanying How Analyzing Cosmic Nothing Might Explain Everything in the January 2024 issue of Scientific American depicts the entire Universe in a two-page spread — full of nothing.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
How Analyzing Cosmic Nothing Might Explain Everything. Text by Michael Lemonick (editor), art direction by Jen Christiansen (Senior Graphics Editor), source: SDSS

The graphic uses the latest data from SDSS 12 and is an update to my Superclusters and Voids poster.

Michael Lemonick (editor) explains on the graphic:

“Regions of relatively empty space called cosmic voids are everywhere in the universe, and scientists believe studying their size, shape and spread across the cosmos could help them understand dark matter, dark energy and other big mysteries.

To use voids in this way, astronomers must map these regions in detail—a project that is just beginning.

Shown here are voids discovered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), along with a selection of 16 previously named voids. Scientists expect voids to be evenly distributed throughout space—the lack of voids in some regions on the globe simply reflects SDSS’s sky coverage.”

voids

Sofia Contarini, Alice Pisani, Nico Hamaus, Federico Marulli Lauro Moscardini & Marco Baldi (2023) Cosmological Constraints from the BOSS DR12 Void Size Function Astrophysical Journal 953:46.

Nico Hamaus, Alice Pisani, Jin-Ah Choi, Guilhem Lavaux, Benjamin D. Wandelt & Jochen Weller (2020) Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 2020:023.

Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 12

constellation figures

Alan MacRobert (Sky & Telescope), Paulina Rowicka/Martin Krzywinski (revisions & Microscopium)

stars

Hoffleit & Warren Jr. (1991) The Bright Star Catalog, 5th Revised Edition (Preliminary Version).

cosmology

H0 = 67.4 km/(Mpc·s), Ωm = 0.315, Ωv = 0.685. Planck collaboration Planck 2018 results. VI. Cosmological parameters (2018).

Error in predictor variables

Tue 02-01-2024

It is the mark of an educated mind to rest satisfied with the degree of precision that the nature of the subject admits and not to seek exactness where only an approximation is possible. —Aristotle

In regression, the predictors are (typically) assumed to have known values that are measured without error.

Practically, however, predictors are often measured with error. This has a profound (but predictable) effect on the estimates of relationships among variables – the so-called “error in variables” problem.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Error in predictor variables. (read)

Error in measuring the predictors is often ignored. In this column, we discuss when ignoring this error is harmless and when it can lead to large bias that can leads us to miss important effects.

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2024) Points of significance: Error in predictor variables. Nat. Methods 20.

Background reading

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2015) Points of significance: Simple linear regression. Nat. Methods 12:999–1000.

Lever, J., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2016) Points of significance: Logistic regression. Nat. Methods 13:541–542 (2016).

Das, K., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2019) Points of significance: Quantile regression. Nat. Methods 16:451–452.

Convolutional neural networks

Tue 02-01-2024

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry. – Richard Feynman

Following up on our Neural network primer column, this month we explore a different kind of network architecture: a convolutional network.

The convolutional network replaces the hidden layer of a fully connected network (FCN) with one or more filters (a kind of neuron that looks at the input within a narrow window).

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Convolutional neural networks. (read)

Even through convolutional networks have far fewer neurons that an FCN, they can perform substantially better for certain kinds of problems, such as sequence motif detection.

Derry, A., Krzywinski, M & Altman, N. (2023) Points of significance: Convolutional neural networks. Nature Methods 20:1269–1270.

Background reading

Derry, A., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2023) Points of significance: Neural network primer. Nature Methods 20:165–167.

Lever, J., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2016) Points of significance: Logistic regression. Nature Methods 13:541–542.

Neural network primer

Tue 10-01-2023

Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished. —Francis Bacon

In the first of a series of columns about neural networks, we introduce them with an intuitive approach that draws from our discussion about logistic regression.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Neural network primer. (read)

Simple neural networks are just a chain of linear regressions. And, although neural network models can get very complicated, their essence can be understood in terms of relatively basic principles.

We show how neural network components (neurons) can be arranged in the network and discuss the ideas of hidden layers. Using a simple data set we show how even a 3-neuron neural network can already model relatively complicated data patterns.

Derry, A., Krzywinski, M & Altman, N. (2023) Points of significance: Neural network primer. Nature Methods 20:165–167.

Background reading

Lever, J., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2016) Points of significance: Logistic regression. Nature Methods 13:541–542.

Cell Genomics cover

Mon 16-01-2023

Our cover on the 11 January 2023 Cell Genomics issue depicts the process of determining the parent-of-origin using differential methylation of alleles at imprinted regions (iDMRs) is imagined as a circuit.

Designed in collaboration with with Carlos Urzua.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Our Cell Genomics cover depicts parent-of-origin assignment as a circuit (volume 3, issue 1, 11 January 2023). (more)

Akbari, V. et al. Parent-of-origin detection and chromosome-scale haplotyping using long-read DNA methylation sequencing and Strand-seq (2023) Cell Genomics 3(1).

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)

Science Advances cover

Thu 05-01-2023

My cover design on the 6 January 2023 Science Advances issue depicts DNA sequencing read translation in high-dimensional space. The image showss 672 bases of sequencing barcodes generated by three different single-cell RNA sequencing platforms were encoded as oriented triangles on the faces of three 7-dimensional cubes.

More details about the design.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
My Science Advances cover that encodes sequence onto hypercubes (volume 9, issue 1, 6 January 2023). (more)

Kijima, Y. et al. A universal sequencing read interpreter (2023) Science Advances 9.

Browse my gallery of cover designs.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A catalogue of my journal and magazine cover designs. (more)
Martin Krzywinski | contact | Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences CentreBC Cancer Research CenterBC CancerPHSA
Google whack “vicissitudinal corporealization”
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