PREVIEW: Kim Erwin to give Forester Lecture Tuesday

By Tabby Lewis

Erwin (Photo provided)

Kim Erwin, assistant professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design, researches making complex information easier to understand and use.

Erwin will speak about the “Visually Stimulating Instruction” in business and education. Erwin said the main idea of this Forester Lecture is the need for data visualization in everyday life. She will discuss principles of visualization and show a tool designed to help us see patterns in textual data.

An example of the practical uses of Erwin’s work is with search engines. Often people don’t care to look past one or two pages of results despite the thousands of results found, she said.

“Most of us never make it past page three,” Erwin said.

The goal of Erwin’s work is to get all the results found when using search engines to be on as few pages as possible.

Erwin is in the process of publishing a book titled “Communicating the New: How to Make the Complex, Unfamiliar or Still-Fuzzy Understandable to Others,” which will be available in the summer of 2013.

David Alexander, Ph.D., director of the Forester Lecture series, said he believes that students will benefit from going to this month’s lecture.

“Hearing and perhaps seeing how the presentation of information, ideas, and data is as important as the content,” Alexander said. “Being able to present something in multiple ways allows us to reach different audiences and be more effective.”

Erwin is in the process of writing a book titled “Communicating the New: How to Make the Complex, Unfamiliar or Still-Fuzzy Understandable to Others,” that will be published in the summer of 2013.

The Forester Lecture will be Nov. 20 in Zurcher Auditorium at 7 p.m.

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