Let me tell you about something.

Distractions and amusements, with a sandwich and coffee.

Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash
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Typography geek? If you like the geometry and mathematics of these posters, you may enjoy something more lettered. Visions of type: Type Peep Show: The Private Curves of Letters posters.

numbers.tgz

1,000,000 digits of
π
,
φ
,
e
and ASN.

The source code is freely available. Read how you can compute your own π path!

Watch the video at Numberphile about my art.

Explore Pi Day art for 2013.

All the artwork can be purchased from Fine Art America.

Numbers are a lot of fun. They can start conversations—the interesting number paradox is a party favourite. Of course, in the wrong company they can just as easily end conversations.

The art here represents my attempt at transforming famous numbers in mathematics into pretty visual forms. This work is 99% art and 1% data visualization. Because the digits in the numbers are essentially random (as far as we know), the essence of the art is based on randomness.

In a few cases, the art reveals an interesting and unexpected observation. For example, the sequence 999999 in π at digit 762 appears significantly earlier than expected by chance. Or that if you calculate π to 13,099,586 digits you will find love, as encoded by 1114214 in the scheme a=0, b=1, c=2...

Keep in mind that because the digits are random and never terminating, they have the property that they contain all observations about numbers within them. In fact, because the digits go on forever, you'll eventually find π within π.

Of these three transcendental numbers, π is the most well known. It is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter (*d* = π*r*).

The Golden Ratio (φ) is the attractive proportion of values *a* and *b* (*a* > *b*) that satisfy (*a*+*b*)/*a* = *a*/*b*, which solves to *a*/*b* = (1+√5)/2.

The last of the three numbers, e is Euler's number and also known as the base of the natural logarithm. It, too, can be defined geometrically—it is the unique real number, e, for which the function *f*(*x*)=e^{x} has a tangent of slope 1 at *x*=0. Like π, e appears throughout mathematics. For example, e is central in the expression for the normal distribution as well as the definition of entropy. And if you've ever heard of someone talking about log plots ... well, there's e again!

π φ e

= 3.141592653589793238462643... = 1.618033988749894848204586... = 2.718281828459045235360287...

These three numbers have the curious property that they are almost Pythagorean. In other words, if they are made into sides of a triangle, the triangle is nearly a right-angled triangle (89.1°).

Did you notice how in the 12th decimal point all three numbers have the same digit—9? This accidental similarity generates its own number—the Accidental Similarity Number (ASN).

perl, SVG, Illustrator

Hug π on March 14th and celebrate Pi Day. Those who favour τ will have to postpone celebrations until July 26th (τ = 2 π). If you're not into details, you may opt to party on July 22nd, which is π approximation day (π ≈ 22/7).

The 2013 posters were inspired by the beautiful AIDS posters by Elena Miska.

A concept created for this visualization, the *i*ness of a number measures how close each of its digits is to a given number, *i*.

The *i*ness is calculated for each digit from the average of the relative difference between *i* and the digit's neighbours.

The 4ness of Pi (π) is a specific case of an *i*ness, for *i*=4.

Thanks to Lance Bailey for suggesting how to measure *i*ness.

In the sequence of Pi (π) `3.1`

the neighbours of the __4__15__4__ are 3, 1, 1 and 5. The relative distances to 4 are -1, -3, -1 and 1. The average, which is the 4ness, of this digit (which is also a 4, coincidentally) is -1.5. The 4ness of each of the other digits is computed identically.

In the *i*ness posters, the 4ness is mapped onto a color and the standard deviation of the differences onto a size.

The accidental similarity number is a kind of overlap between numbers. I came up with this concept after creating typographical art about the 4ness of Pi (π).

To construct this number for Pi (π), Phi (φ) and e we first write the numbers on top of each other and then identify positions for which the numbers have the same digit.

3.141 … 3589793 … 7067982 … 7019385 … 1.618 … 8749894 … 1137484 … 5959395 … 2.718 … 8459045 … 6427427 … 6279434 …

These digits are then used to create the accidental similarity number. In thise case,

asn(π,φ,e) = 0.979 …

Numerology is bogus, but art based on numbers is pretty, in a random non-metaphysical way.

These depictions were generated using my Circos software by Cristian Ilies Vasile and myself.

In the April Points of Significance Nature Methods column, we continue our and consider what happens when we run a large number of tests.

Observing statistically rare test outcomes is expected if we run enough tests. These are statistically, not biologically, significant. For example, if we run *N* tests, the smallest *P* value that we have a 50% chance of observing is 1–exp(–ln2/*N*). For *N* = 10^{k} this *P* value is *P*_{k}=10^{–k}ln2 (e.g. for 10^{4}=10,000 tests, *P*_{4}=6.9×10^{–5}).

We discuss common correction schemes such as Bonferroni, Holm, Benjamini & Hochberg and Storey's *q* and show how they impact the false positive rate (FPR), false discovery rate (FDR) and power of a batch of tests.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Comparing Samples — Part II — Multiple Testing *Nature Methods* **11**:215-216.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Comparing Samples — Part I — *t*-tests *Nature Methods* **11**:215-216.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2013) Points of Significance: Significance, *P* values and *t*-tests *Nature Methods* **10**:1041-1042.

Celebrate Pi Day (March 14th) with the art of folding numbers. This year I take the number up to the Feynman Point and apply a protein folding algorithm to render it as a path.

For those of you who liked the minimalist and colorful digit grid, I've expanded on the concept to show stacked ring plots of frequency distributions.

And if spirals are your thing...

In the March Points of Significance Nature Methods column, we continue our discussion of *t*-tests from November (Significance, *P* values and *t*-tests).

We look at what happens how uncertainty of two variables combines and how this impacts the increased uncertainty when two samples are compared and highlight the differences between the two-sample and paired *t*-tests.

When performing any statistical test, it's important to understand and satisfy its requirements. The *t*-test is very robust with respect to some of its assumptions, but not others. We explore which.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Comparing Samples — Part I *Nature Methods* **11**:215-216.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2013) Points of Significance: Significance, *P* values and *t*-tests *Nature Methods* **10**:1041-1042.

Beautiful Science explores how our understanding of ourselves and our planet has evolved alongside our ability to represent, graph and map the mass data of the time. The exhibit runs 20 February — 26 May 2014 and is free to the public. There is a good Nature blog writeup about it, a piece in The Guardian, and a great video that explains the the exhibit narrated by Johanna Kieniewicz, the curator.

I am privileged to contribute an information graphic to the exhibit in the Tree of Life section. The piece shows how sequence similarity varies across species as a function of evolutionary distance. The installation is a set of 6 30x30 cm backlit panels. They look terrific.

Quick, name three chart types. Line, bar and scatter come to mind. Perhaps you said pie too—tsk tsk. Nobody ever thinks of the box plot.

Box plots reveal details about data without overloading a figure with a full frequency distribution histogram. They're easy to compare and now easy to make with BoxPlotR (try it). In our fifth Points of Significance column, we take a break from the theory to explain this plot type and—I hope— convince you that they're worth thinking about.

The February issue of Nature Methods kicks the bar chart two more times: Dan Evanko's Kick the Bar Chart Habit editorial and a Points of View: Bar charts and box plots column by Mark Streit and Nils Gehlenborg.

Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2014) Points of Significance: Visualizing samples with box plots *Nature Methods* **11**:119-120.

I recently presented at the Wired Data|Life 2013 conference, sharing my thoughts on The Art and Science of Data Visualization.

For specialists, visualizations should expose detail to allow for exploration and inspiration. For enthusiasts, they should provide context, integrate facts and inform. For the layperson, they should capture the essence of the topic, narrate a story and deligt.

Wired's Brandon Keim wrote up a short article about me and some of my work—Circle of Life: The Beautiful New Way to Visualize Biological Data.