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With the publication of Uncertainty and the Management of Epidemics, we celebrate our 50th column! Since 2013, our Nature Methods Points of Significance has been offering crisp explanations and practical suggestions about best practices in statistical analysis and reporting. To all our readers and coauthors: thank you and see you in the next column!

Nature Methods: Points of View

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Points of View column in Nature Methods. (Points of View)
1 | Krzywinski M 2016 Intuitive design Nat Methods 13:895.
2 | Krzywinski M 2016 Binning high-resolution data Nat Methods 13:463.
3 | Hunnicutt BJ & Krzywinski M 2016 Neural circuit diagrams Nat Methods 13:189.
4 | Hunnicutt BJ & Krzywinski M 2016 Pathways Nat Methods 13:5.
5 | McInerny G & Krzywinski M 2015 Unentangling complex plots Nat Methods 12:591.
6 | Streit M & Gehlenborg N 2015 Temporal Data Nat Methods 12:97.
7 | Lex A & Gehlenborg N 2014 Sets and Intersections Nat Methods 11:778.
8 | Streit M & Gehlenborg N 2014 Bar charts and box plots Nat Methods 11:117.
9 | Krzywinski M & Cairo A 2013 Storytelling Nat Methods 10:687.
10 | Krzywinski M & Savig E 2013 Multidimensional Data Nat Methods 10:595.
11 | Krzywinski M & Wong B 2013 Plotting symbols Nat Methods 10:451.
12 | Krzywinski M 2013 Elements of visual style Nat Methods 10:371.
13 | Krzywinski M 2013 Labels and callouts Nat Methods 10:275.
14 | Krzywinski M 2013 Axes, ticks and grids Nat Methods 10:183.
15 | Wong B 2012 Visualizing biological data Nat Methods 9:1131.
16 | Wong B & Kjaegaard RS 2012 Pencil and paper Nat Methods 9:1037.
17 | Gehlenborg N & Wong B 2012 Power of the plane Nat Methods 9:935.
18 | Gehlenborg N & Wong B 2012 Into the third dimension Nat Methods 9:851.
19 | Gehlenborg N & Wong B 2012 Mapping quantitative data to color Nat Methods 9:769.
20 | Nielsen C & Wong B 2012 Representing genomic structural variation Nat Methods 9:631.
21 | Nielsen C & Wong B 2012 Managing deep data in genome browsers Nat Methods 9:521.
22 | Nielsen C & Wong B 2012 Representing the genome Nat Methods 9:423.
23 | Gehlenborg N & Wong B 2012 Integrating data Nat Methods 9:315.
24 | Gehlenborg N & Wong B 2012 Heat maps Nat Methods 9:213.
25 | Gehlenborg N & Wong B 2012 Networks Nat Methods 9:115.
26 | Shoresh N & Wong B 2012 Data exploration Nat Methods 9:5.
27 | Wong B 2011 The design process Nat Methods 8:987.
28 | Wong B 2011 Salience to relevance Nat Methods 8:889.
29 | Wong B 2011 Layout Nat Methods 8:783.
30 | Wong B 2011 Arrows Nat Methods 8:701.
31 | Wong B 2011 Simplify to clarify Nat Methods 8:611.
32 | Wong B 2011 Avoiding color Nat Methods 8:525.
33 | Wong B 2011 Color blindness Nat Methods 8:441.
34 | Wong B 2011 The overview figure Nat Methods 8:365.
35 | Wong B 2011 Typography Nat Methods 8:277.
36 | Wong B 2011 Points of review (part 2) Nat Methods 8:189.
37 | Wong B 2011 Points of review (part 1) Nat Methods 8:101.
38 | Wong B 2011 Negative space Nat Methods 8:5.
39 | Wong B 2010 Gestalt principles (part 2) Nat Methods 7:941.
40 | Wong B 2010 Gestalt principles (part 1) Nat Methods 7:863.
41 | Wong B 2010 Salience Nat Methods 7:773.
42 | Wong B 2010 Design of data figures Nat Methods 7:665.
43 | Wong B 2010 Color coding Nat Methods 7:573.
news + thoughts

Nasa to send our human genome discs to the Moon

Sat 23-03-2024

We'd like to say a ‘cosmic hello’: mathematics, culture, palaeontology, art and science, and ... human genomes.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
SANCTUARY PROJECT | A cosmic hello of art, science, and genomes. (details)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
SANCTUARY PROJECT | Benoit Faiveley, founder of the Sanctuary project gives the Sanctuary disc a visual check at CEA LeQ Grenoble (image: Vincent Thomas). (details)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
SANCTUARY PROJECT | Sanctuary team examines the Life disc at INRIA Paris Saclay (image: Benedict Redgrove) (details)

Comparing classifier performance with baselines

Sat 23-03-2024

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. —George Orwell

This month, we will illustrate the importance of establishing a baseline performance level.

Baselines are typically generated independently for each dataset using very simple models. Their role is to set the minimum level of acceptable performance and help with comparing relative improvements in performance of other models.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Comparing classifier performance with baselines. (read)

Unfortunately, baselines are often overlooked and, in the presence of a class imbalance5, must be established with care.

Megahed, F.M, Chen, Y-J., Jones-Farmer, A., Rigdon, S.E., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2024) Points of significance: Comparing classifier performance with baselines. Nat. Methods 20.

Happy 2024 π Day—
sunflowers ho!

Sat 09-03-2024

Celebrate π Day (March 14th) and dig into the digit garden. Let's grow something.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2024 π DAY | A garden of 1,000 digits of π. (details)

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).

Martin Krzywinski | contact | Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences CentreBC Cancer Research CenterBC CancerPHSA
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