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OxTALENT Awards 2017: Data Visualisation



We are thrilled to announce that the Quill Project was awarded runner up in the ‘Data Visualisation’ category in this year’s OxTALENT awards for ‘Modelling and Visualising the Creation of the American Constitution’. OxTALENT awards recognise members of the University who have made innovative use of digital technology in order to foster learning and academic practice at either undergraduate or postgraduate level; developed more effective links between teaching and research, or improved impact through outreach and public engagement. Quill Project research assistants Grace Mallon, Giverny McAndry and Olivia Griffiths attended the annual OxTALENT awards ceremony on 14th June 2017, where they had a chance to hear about the incredible ways that modern technology is being put to use across the University, from outreach programmes engaging with local schools to help schoolgirls learn to code, to individual efforts to use digital media as a means of facilitating better understanding and engagement in the teaching of undergraduate courses, such as in lectures and in homework assignments.

In the ‘Data Visualisation’ category, the judges were impressed by the array of visualisation options, which catered for a wide range of users from professionals to novices alike. Entries in the ‘data visualisation’ category were judged for their ability to “tell a story, provide an insight, make the complex simple or illustrate a beautiful pattern in a data set”: The judges praised the Quill platform’s ability to harness the sheer volume of historical records which deal with the Constitutional Convention in digital form, and to present data from various perspectives. Indeed, one of the judges’ favourite elements of the platform was our ‘Secretary’s Desk’ tool, which visualises what the desk of the committee’s secretary would have looked like at the end of each day of the convention process. They applauded the “very human perspective” that this tool lends to the data, and its ability to help users to “understand the complexity of the task that the committee was undertaking”.

We were delighted with their feedback and to have been given an award at such a prestigious event, and thrilled that our entry stood out among the other 87 entries!

We really enjoyed working on our submission and are looking forward to continuing to update our user-interface to present the complexities of the 1787 Convention and other negotiated texts in a tangible, simple, and visually appealing style.

We would like to thank OxTALENT for the award and for such a fantastic evening at the prize-giving ceremony, and for giving us the opportunity to hear about so many other fantastic projects that have been changing the way we approach learning and shaping the way for a new generation of digital scholarship. We would also like to thank Dr Nicholas Cole and Dr Alfie Abdul Rahman who were unable to attend the awards ceremony, but without whom none of this would be have been possible.


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