MAT 259 - 2011W

Yun Teng | Project 1 | 2D Frequency Visualization

Test Clock


This project tries to find interesting patterns in when students are preparing for the "big tests" for higher education.I targeted four tests SAT, GRE, GMAT and LSAT and queried related transactions in the Seattle Public Library done between 2005 and 2010.

In the final version, data is collected based on month interval. For each test and each year, there are twelve arcs with same angular scale and center. The radius of the arc represents the amount of the test preparation books borrowed in the month. Click on each of the "circular shapes" will pop up a more detailed demonstration which shows the different subjects of the preparation books borrowed.

Source Code

Data Parsing

I left out the data of the first three months in 2005 (because the data is incomplete) and the last two month in 2010(because many books checked out during that time haven't been returned yet so there's no record). After collecting the data, I first explored it in excel and generated some curves to see the trend:

After collecting the total amount of test books borrowed in each month, I was thinking which details to reveal. At first I tried to show the duration of books borrowed but didn't find particular pattern. I also tried shrink the time interval to weeks but there were more noises(like sometimes the library was closed for a whole week). Finally I decided to explore the different aspects of the preparation books. Some books cover everythings, some focus on verbal or math, etc.

Some possible interpretation of the data: more SAT books are borrowed since 2008, which might be correlated with the finacial crisis(more people are going to school since it's not a good time to work). There is a peak in 2009 for GRE. At that time ETS announced that they would make a new GRE test in 2011 which apparently will be harder. So perhaps more students are taking it earlier than usual schedule (GRE test score is valid for 5 years).

Project Evolution

Exploring a good representation

Details.Choosing colors and layout

Final visualization

Source code: TestClock getData getGMATDetail getGREDetial getLSATDetail getSATDetail util


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