Visualization, Data Communication, & Information Design

Frost Museum Planetarium

Visualization, Data Communication, & Information Design

Visualization augments cognition to enable the exploration of complex data sets and the communication of scientific findings.

IDSC Visualization, Data Communication, and Information Design addresses this dual nature of visualization, and works on new technologies to assist in research and discovery, as well as collaborates with scientists in communicating their results to stakeholders and to the general public using multimodal media, from static infographics to interactive web presentations and other products that take advantage of technologies like augmented, mixed, and virtual reality.

Visualization, Data Communication, and Information Design also fulfills a key educational role: raising awareness about data science and its applications among the general public, using visual means.

Alberto Cairo

Alberto Cairo, PhD
Director, Visualization
Director, IDSC Visualization, Data Communication, and Information Design

Alberto Cairo joined the School of Communication of the University of Miami in 2012, and is currently the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Management  and the Department of Interactive Media. He teaches classes on visualization and information graphics. He holds a BA in Journalism from the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, and MA and PhD degrees from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain, and has been a lecturer and professor at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2005-2009). He was also the James H. Shumaker Term Assistant Professor at UNC between 2008 and 2009.

Dr. Cairo has an extensive career in the news industry. He has been Director of Infographics of El Mundo online (Spain, 2000-2005), and Editora Globo (Brazil, 2010-2011), and in the past decade he has consulted with, and organized workshops and other training programs for, media organizations and educational institutions in more than 30 countries. He currently works as a consultant for Google and the Congressional Budget Office.

Microsoft has called Dr. Cairo a pioneer who’s always been “at the vanguard of visual journalism”.

The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization by Alberto CairoThe Truthful Art How Charts LieHe is the author of the books How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter About Visual Information (W. W. Norton 2019), The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (Peachpit Press/Pearson Education 2012), and The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication (Peachpit Press/Pearson Education 2016). How Charts Lie, which focuses on the ethics of data visualization, will appear in the Fall of 2021, published by Wiley. Dr. Cairo has also written popular articles for numerous publications, such as The New York Times and Scientific American.

In 2012, Dr. Cairo designed the first journalism Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ever created, titled “Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization”, in collaboration with the Knight Center for the Americas, in Texas. In all its editions, this online course has been followed by more than 25,000 students from nearly 150 countries.

Dr. Cairo has expanded his interests to the scientific visualization community through articles and conferences, like the one showcased here: “Storytelling, journalism, visualization, and science: A discussion in Nature Methods“, published by by Nature Methods magazine. He has also been the keynote speaker at: the North American Cartographic Information Society annual meeting, the Swiss Statistical Society summit, Microsoft Data Insights, the European Commission’s Power from Statistics, and the JMP Discovery Summit. In 2019, Dr. Cairo was named an honorary member of the International Statistical Institute.