Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - contact me Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / on Twitter Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - Lumondo Photography Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - Pi Art Martin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - Hilbertonians - Creatures on the Hilbert CurveMartin Krzywinski / Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre / - Pi Day 2020 - Piku
In your hiding, you're alone. Kept your treasures with my bones.Coeur de Piratecrawl somewhere bettermore quotes

iness: beautiful

Scientific graphical abstracts — design guidelines

visualization + design

`\pi` Day 2021 Art Posters - A forest of Pi (a Lindenmayer system)
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski buy artwork
81 digits of `\pi` as a forest of trees: standard, bat cave and underwater editions. ( BUY ARTWORK )
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
The 2021 Pi Day art celebrates the digits of `\pi` with a forest! Visit the bat cave and underwater ecosystems for the full experience.

The art of Pi (`\pi`), Phi (`\phi`) and `e`

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2021 `\pi` reminds us that good things grow for those who wait.' edition.

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2019 `\pi` has hundreds of digits, hundreds of languages and a special kids' edition.

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2018 `\pi` day stitches street maps into new destinations.

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2017 `\pi` day imagines the sky in a new way.

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2016 `\pi` approximation day wonders what would happen if about right was right.

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2016 `\pi` day sees digits really fall for each other.

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2015 `\pi` day maps transcendentally.

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2014 `\pi` approx day spirals into roughness.

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2014 `\pi` day hypnotizes you into looking.

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2014 `\pi` day

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
2013 `\pi` day is where it started

Pi Art Posters
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Circular `\pi` art and other distractions

Like music with numbers? Here's a short list of some of my favourite songs that have numbers in their lyrics. Absolutely none of them is about bottles of beer.

music with numbers

1 — One Hundred Billion Sparks, Max Cooper | Imagine a neuron firing. Now imagine 100,000,000,000 neurons firing. This is the music for it.

2 — Numbers, Smoke City | This song is entirely composed of references to different numbers. The bonus? It's both in English and Portuguese. I love the way it ends—"Isn't it beautiful out here?".




forty nine

Isn't it beautiful out here?
Isn't it beautiful out here?
Isn't it beautiful out here?

3 — 99 luftbaloons, Nena | The numerical classic.

Hast du etwas Zeit für mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
Von 99 Luftballons

4 — One, Aimee Mann | Beautiful mathematics of relationships using small numbers.

One is the lonliest number that you'll ever do. Two can be as bad as one, it's the lonliest number since the number one.

5 — Angels at My Door, Una | Long sequences of numbers.

58, 56, 54 angels at my door.
63, 62, 61, 60, 59, 58 angels at my gate.

6 — Tricky, Tricky, Royksopp | Number words about the fearful six from Norway.

Six afraid of seven 'cause seven, eight, nine
I'm about to lose it the second time

7 — Pt vs Ys, Yoshinori Sunahara | The first four numbers, in German, are this song's lyrics.

Eins, zwei, drei, vier.

8 — Der Kommissar, Falco | Unlike the previous song, this one starts with a German count (doesn't get to vier, though) and just gets better from there.

Two, three, four
Eins, zwei, drei
Na, es is nix dabei
Na, wenn ich euch erzähl' die G'schicht'

9 — 2wicky, Hooverphonic | The numbers likely reference the Prophet-600 and SH-101 synthesizers.

Prophet 60091.
Before we start you should know that you're not the only one who can hurt me.
This is the serial number of our orbital gun.
You better be sure before you leave me for another one.

10 — Straight to Number One, Touch and Go | Something to listen to after midnight.

Fingers, four, play, three, to number one.

11 — The Beat Experience, Pepe Deluxe | I am reminded of this song at too many academic seminars.

Here we are now, at the middle, of the fourth large part of this talk.
More and more I have the feeling that we are getting nowhere.
Slowly, as the talk goes on, we are getting nowhere.
And that is a pleasure.

It is not irritating where one is.
It is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.
Here we are now, a little bit after the middle, of the fourth large part of this talk.

12 — Thousand Kisses Deep, Leonard Cohen | A list of songs that doesn't include one by Cohen is not worth reading. The sentiment of a thousand kisses is as old as lips existed. Catullus wrote to Lesbia "da mi basia mille, deinde centum, dein mille altera, dein secunda centum, deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum" [Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred, then yet another thousand, then a hundred.] Well, you get the idea.

And sometimes when the night is slow,
The wretched and the meek,
We gather up our hearts and go,
A Thousand Kisses Deep.

13 — Six Seven Times, Flunk | Curiously the product here is 42. This song is the answer to life.

You've got it all
Six seven times
You've got it all
Makes me feel so fine
And it's all there is

14 — 7 seconds, Youssou N'Dour | Dreamy references to a short period of time.

7 seconds away. Just as long as I stay. I'll be waiting.

15 — 100 Billion Stars, Lux | Something to relax to while you ponder insignificance.

16 — First Picture, Nikolaj Grandjean | First is the most memorable number.

I remember
The first picture
One million different shadows
Where we've been around the willows

17 — Millions of Millions, Music for a French Elevator | Very desirable. And I can't believe I transcribed the whole thing.

5.50 million dollars, 2.6775 and very desirable 8 million dollars 5.6 million and 2.4 million 3.4 million and 2.9 million 1.2 would've amounted to 4 million 1.2 million 19.4 million 6.6 million 5.275 million 1.2 million 3-and-a-half million dollars 6.453 million 8 million 5.050 million 1.4 million close to a million dollars 933.5 million 3.8 million 5 million dollars 2-and-a-half million 600 million dollars can you shut the door? 3-and-a-half million dollars 2.5 million .050 million 572,750 thousand 5.050 million 3.8 million 3 million 150 thousand 8 million 419.5 million

18 — Love Potion #9, The Searchers | I started kissing everythying in sight.

It smelled like turpentine, it looked like Indian ink
I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink.

19 — 93 Million Miles, Luan Santana feat. John Kip | A little sticky, a little sweet but it makes up for the fact that much of it is in Portuguese.

But the absence of the light is a necessary part.


news + thoughts

Music for the Moon: Flunk's 'Down Here / Moon Above'

Sat 29-05-2021

The Sanctuary Project is a Lunar vault of science and art. It includes two fully sequenced human genomes, sequenced and assembled by us at Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre.

The first disc includes a song composed by Flunk for the (eventual) trip to the Moon.

But how do you send sound to space? I describe the inspiration, process and art behind the work.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
The song 'Down Here / Moon Above' from Flunk's new album History of Everything Ever is our song for space. It appears on the Sanctuary genome discs, which aim to send two fully sequenced human genomes to the Moon. (more)

Browse the genome discs.

Happy 2021 `\pi` Day—
A forest of digits

Sun 14-03-2021

Celebrate `\pi` Day (March 14th) and finally see the digits through the forest.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
The 26th tree in the digit forest of `\pi`. Why is there a flower on the ground?. (details)

This year is full of botanical whimsy. A Lindenmayer system forest – deterministic but always changing. Feel free to stop and pick the flowers from the ground.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
The first 46 digits of `\pi` in 8 trees. There are so many more. (details)

And things can get crazy in the forest.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
A forest of the digits of '\pi`, by ecosystem. (details)

Check out art from previous years: 2013 `\pi` Day and 2014 `\pi` Day, 2015 `\pi` Day, 2016 `\pi` Day, 2017 `\pi` Day, 2018 `\pi` Day and 2019 `\pi` Day.

Testing for rare conditions

Sun 30-05-2021

All that glitters is not gold. —W. Shakespeare

The sensitivity and specificity of a test do not necessarily correspond to its error rate. This becomes critically important when testing for a rare condition — a test with 99% sensitivity and specificity has an even chance of being wrong when the condition prevalence is 1%.

We discuss the positive predictive value (PPV) and how practices such as screen can increase it.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Testing for rare conditions. (read)

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2021) Points of significance: Testing for rare conditions. Nature Methods 18:224–225.

Standardization fallacy

Tue 09-02-2021

We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty! —D. Adams

A popular notion about experiments is that it's good to keep variability in subjects low to limit the influence of confounding factors. This is called standardization.

Unfortunately, although standardization increases power, it can induce unrealistically low variability and lead to results that do not generalize to the population of interest. And, in fact, may be irreproducible.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Standardization fallacy. (read)

Not paying attention to these details and thinking (or hoping) that standardization is always good is the "standardization fallacy". In this column, we look at how standardization can be balanced with heterogenization to avoid this thorny issue.

Voelkl, B., Würbel, H., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2021) Points of significance: Standardization fallacy. Nature Methods 18:5–6.

Graphical Abstract Design Guidelines

Fri 13-11-2020

Clear, concise, legible and compelling.

Making a scientific graphical abstract? Refer to my practical design guidelines and redesign examples to improve organization, design and clarity of your graphical abstracts.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
Graphical Abstract Design Guidelines — Clear, concise, legible and compelling.

"This data might give you a migrane"

Tue 06-10-2020

An in-depth look at my process of reacting to a bad figure — how I design a poster and tell data stories.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski
A poster of high BMI and obesity prevalence for 185 countries.