Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - contact me Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca on Twitter Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Lumondo Photography Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Pi Art Martin Krzywinski / Genome Sciences Center / mkweb.bcgsc.ca - Hilbertonians - Creatures on the Hilbert Curve
Drive, driven. Gave, given.YelloGive me a number of games.more quotes

DNA on 10th — street art, wayfinding and font


visualization + design

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
The 2019 Pi Day art celebrates digits of `\pi` with hundreds of languages and alphabets. If you're a kid at heart—rejoice—there's a special edition for you!

`\pi` Day 2018 Art Posters - Stitched city road maps from around the world


Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2019 `\pi` has hundreds of digits, hundreds of languages and a special kids' edition.

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2018 `\pi` day

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2017 `\pi` day

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2016 `\pi` approximation day

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2016 `\pi` day

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2015 `\pi` day

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2014 `\pi` approx day

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2014 `\pi` day

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
2013 `\pi` day

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Circular `\pi` art

On March 14th celebrate `\pi` Day. Hug `\pi`—find a way to do it.

For those who favour `\tau=2\pi` will have to postpone celebrations until July 26th. That's what you get for thinking that `\pi` is wrong. I sympathize with this position and have `\tau` day art too!

If you're not into details, you may opt to party on July 22nd, which is `\pi` approximation day (`\pi` ≈ 22/7). It's 20% more accurate that the official `\pi` day!

Finally, if you believe that `\pi = 3`, you should read why `\pi` is not equal to 3.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
All art posters are available for purchase.
I take custom requests.

And if you've got to sleep a moment on the road
I will steer for you
And if you want to work the street alone
I'll disappear for you
—Leonard Cohen (I'm Your Man)

This year's is the 30th anniversary of `\pi` day. The theme of the art is bridging the world and making friends. So myself I again team up with my long-time friend and collaborator Jake Lever. I worled with Jake on the snowflake catalogue, where we build a world of flakes.

And so, this year we also build a world. We start with all the roads in the world and stitch them together in brand new ways. And if you walk more than 1 km in this world, you'll likely to be transported somewhere completely different.

This year's `\pi` day song is Trance Groove: Paris. Why? Because it's worth to go to new places—real or imagined.

Last year, I made a new world in the sky with my 2017 `\pi` day sky charts. This year, it's time for something a little closer to the ground. Using street maps of various cities, we rearrange the streets and join neighbourhoods from around the world using the digits of `\pi` as a recipe.

A walk from to Istanbul to San Francisco is only 5 minutes? Well, no. But what if it could be.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
A great 10 km run loop between Istanbul, Copenhagen, San Francisco and Dublin. Stop off for halva, smørrebrød, espresso and a Guinness on the way. (zoom)

Read how it was done or simply enjoy the art.

City strips

City strips are horizontal arrangements of patches of roads sampled from a city. The order of the patches is determined by the digits of `\pi`, which are used to select regions of specific density of roads.


Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
On the road with 10 digits of `\pi`. City strips for Moscow, Mumbai, Nairobi, New Delhi, Nice, Prague, Rome, Stockholm, Vancouver and Warsaw. (BUY ARTWORK)

These strips chart 10 patches—the patch for the digit "1" has a few roads and the patch for "9" is the most dense.

Boonies, burbs and boutiques

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Close-up of progressively denser patches of roads from city strips: the boonies, the burbs and the boutiques.

This series of patches is extracted from the city strips above. Three patches for the consecutive digits 159 are shown and demonstrate how very quickly we can progress from nowhere to somewhere.


Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
The boonies, burbs and boutiques of `\pi`. Progressively denser patches of streets from various cities smoothly progress from nowhere to somewhere. (BUY ARTWORK)

World patches

This arrangement of roads builds on city strips. Here, 36 digits of `\pi` are arranged on a 6 × 6 grid. Roads patches are sampled from 10 different cities—each digit is assigned a different city.

In the map below the digit-to-city assignments are: 0:Amsterdam, 1:Doha, 2:Marrakesh, 3:Mumbai, 4:Nairobi, 5:Rome, 6:San Francisco, 7:Seoul, 8:Shanghai and 9:Vancouver.


Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
On the road with 36 digits of `\pi`. A world patch using Amsterdam, Doha, Marrakesh, Mumbai, Nairobi, Rome, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai and Vancouver (BUY ARTWORK)

City mix

City mixes are world patches that only use two cities. Below we assign the even digits to Melbourne and the odd digits to Nice.


Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
On the road with 36 digits of `\pi`. A world patch using Melbourne and Nice. (BUY ARTWORK)

Pi Day 2018 Art Posters  - Stitched city road maps from around the world
 / Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca buy artwork
On the road with 36 digits of `\pi`. A world patch using Melbourne and Nice. (BUY ARTWORK)

VIEW ALL

news + thoughts

Yearning for the Infinite — Aleph 2

Mon 18-11-2019

Discover Cantor's transfinite numbers through my music video for the Aleph 2 track of Max Cooper's Yearning for the Infinite (album page, event page).

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Yearning for the Infinite, Max Cooper at the Barbican Hall, London. Track Aleph 2. Video by Martin Krzywinski. Photo by Michal Augustini. (more)

I discuss the math behind the video and the system I built to create the video.

Hidden Markov Models

Mon 18-11-2019

Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.
—Rene Magritte

A Hidden Markov Model extends a Markov chain to have hidden states. Hidden states are used to model aspects of the system that cannot be directly observed and themselves form a Markov chain and each state may emit one or more observed values.

Hidden states in HMMs do not have to have meaning—they can be used to account for measurement errors, compress multi-modal observational data, or to detect unobservable events.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Hidden Markov Models. (read)

In this column, we extend the cell growth model from our Markov Chain column to include two hidden states: normal and sedentary.

We show how to calculate forward probabilities that can predict the most likely path through the HMM given an observed sequence.

Grewal, J., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2019) Points of significance: Hidden Markov Models. Nature Methods 16:795–796.

Background reading

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2019) Points of significance: Markov Chains. Nature Methods 16:663–664.

Hola Mundo Cover

Sat 21-09-2019

My cover design for Hola Mundo by Hannah Fry. Published by Blackie Books.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Hola Mundo by Hannah Fry. Cover design is based on my 2013 `\pi` day art. (read)

Curious how the design was created? Read the full details.

Markov Chains

Tue 30-07-2019

You can look back there to explain things,
but the explanation disappears.
You'll never find it there.
Things are not explained by the past.
They're explained by what happens now.
—Alan Watts

A Markov chain is a probabilistic model that is used to model how a system changes over time as a series of transitions between states. Each transition is assigned a probability that defines the chance of the system changing from one state to another.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Markov Chains. (read)

Together with the states, these transitions probabilities define a stochastic model with the Markov property: transition probabilities only depend on the current state—the future is independent of the past if the present is known.

Once the transition probabilities are defined in matrix form, it is easy to predict the distribution of future states of the system. We cover concepts of aperiodicity, irreducibility, limiting and stationary distributions and absorption.

This column is the first part of a series and pairs particularly well with Alan Watts and Blond:ish.

Grewal, J., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2019) Points of significance: Markov Chains. Nature Methods 16:663–664.

1-bit zoomable gigapixel maps of Moon, Solar System and Sky

Mon 22-07-2019

Places to go and nobody to see.

Exquisitely detailed maps of places on the Moon, comets and asteroids in the Solar System and stars, deep-sky objects and exoplanets in the northern and southern sky. All maps are zoomable.

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
3.6 gigapixel map of the near side of the Moon, annotated with 6,733. (details)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
100 megapixel and 10 gigapixel map of the Solar System on 20 July 2019, annotated with 758k asteroids, 1.3k comets and all planets and satellites. (details)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
100 megapixle and 10 gigapixel map of the Northern Celestial Hemisphere, annotated with 44 million stars, 74,000 deep-sky objects and 3,000 exoplanets. (details)
Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
100 megapixle and 10 gigapixel map of the Southern Celestial Hemisphere, annotated with 69 million stars, 88,000 deep-sky objects and 1000 exoplanets. (details)

Quantile regression

Sat 01-06-2019
Quantile regression robustly estimates the typical and extreme values of a response.

Quantile regression explores the effect of one or more predictors on quantiles of the response. It can answer questions such as "What is the weight of 90% of individuals of a given height?"

Martin Krzywinski @MKrzywinski mkweb.bcgsc.ca
Nature Methods Points of Significance column: Quantile regression. (read)

Unlike in traditional mean regression methods, no assumptions about the distribution of the response are required, which makes it practical, robust and amenable to skewed distributions.

Quantile regression is also very useful when extremes are interesting or when the response variance varies with the predictors.

Das, K., Krzywinski, M. & Altman, N. (2019) Points of significance: Quantile regression. Nature Methods 16:451–452.

Background reading

Altman, N. & Krzywinski, M. (2015) Points of significance: Simple linear regression. Nature Methods 12:999–1000.