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Signs of Summer: Getting a Little Meta

Wednesday, July 17, 2019, by Erick Oduniyi and Khanh Ngo
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We want people to know: Data provenance is the study of everything that happens behind the scenes of a script or program. When you transform data, a computer stores "metadata" about that transformation- analyzing this data can help you better answer questions about those data's integrity. We chose a timeline to reflect the sequential stages of data provenance.


Our research team is working on different ways that users of the R Programming Language can interact with their metadata. I (Erick) am building a webpage that will allow users to better visualize those data, and I (Khanh) am creating an R package that will allow users to analyze differences in script returns. We are both interested in how bringing some of the hidden clockwork of R into the light can help users both program more efficiently and better understand the influences of the program itself on their results.


As part of our Environmental Sign Making workshop, artist and educator David Buckley Borden showed us how to combine images in the culture with scientific information to convey facts and attitudes about our research to a wide audience.