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Week4: At Top Colleges, an Admissions Gap for Minorities
09-17-2014, 11:17 PM (This post was last modified: 09-17-2014 11:24 PM by citou.)
Post: #1
Week4: At Top Colleges, an Admissions Gap for Minorities
The link is below:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/...s-gap.html

The visualization shows different admission rates of minorities using scatterplot. Color is used to distinguish different leveled colleges, universities including elite colleges like Harvard, Yale UCBerkely and so on, common colleges like some state universities and community colleges with very low graduation rates.

Four graphs are used totally to show three minorities: Black, Hispanics and Asians. You can use 'NEXT' button at the right top to see the graph from one to another. The x axis represents the graduation rate of colleges and the y represents the percentage of 2011-12 freshmen of one specific minorities. With the rise of freshmen’s percentage, the size of the dot is bigger. Dot color gradually changes from green to red with the change of college graduation rate. The more green the dots, the higher the graduation rate. On the opposite, the reddest color plot has the lowest graduation rate. So we can clearly figure out the trend of each minority at a glance. The interactive is very good, if you want to see the detailed data, just put the mouse on the dot and the name of the college, graduation rate and the certain minority freshmen rate show up.

Although color and density could give us an integral impression, the topic’s focus on 'admission gap' is not clear. There is no global contrast and trend for minorities. Readers need to flip pages to make comparisons. There is a dash line along the x axis in each figure with very light gray color, we don't know what the line is used for. The labling is also not clear. Very few dots are given the name of colleges and I can't figure out the standard of labeling. It looks much like just random. The biggest problem in this visualization is channel abuse. For the x axis, graduation rate has clearly indicated levels of colleges. I don’t think using different color is effective. Further, the size change of dot is not necessary actually. For there are only two attributes, graduation rate and percentage of freshmen, positions of dots and their density have shown the distribution of minorities very clearly. My understanding is, there are too many dots that maybe different colors could give reader an optic relax?

In my view, some extreme dot could be labeled with name and percentage, for example, in the asian graph, Kapiolani Community College with highest percentage of Asian freshmen, Harvard university with highest graduation rate, and UCI with very high Asian percentage in elite colleges could be labeled for their representativeness. Another improvement could do is, initially using a line graph rather than scatterplot to show the integral trend and comparison of minorities.


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Week4: At Top Colleges, an Admissions Gap for Minorities - citou - 09-17-2014 11:17 PM

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