Your “first” assignment will not involved writing any code, but rather configuring our mechanism for sharing data with each other.

It involves three major steps:

Part 1: Git

If you do not already have an account at, create one. Bitbucket provides free git accounts and repository hosting, and is particularly generous to academic users. Be sure to create your account using your official UA email address (it should automatically create an academic account for your).

Once you have an account, send me an email with your bitbucket user id. I will create a private repo that only you and I have access to for submitting all assignments.

Note, if you’re unfamiliar with git and version control, now is the time to start reading up. Atlassian, the parent company of bitbucket, offers some nice tutorials online, but there are many others. I recommend googling for others.

Feel free to use a GUI client for git, but you may also want to consider learning how to use it from a terminal. Since I will be creating and hosting the repository, you likely will only need to learn four commands:

git clone
git add
git commit
git push

Part 2: Numbers

Create, using whatever approach you like, 10 whole numbers between 0 and 99 (inclusive). Put these numbers in a plain-text ASCII file, one number per line. Name this file numbers.txt, place it in the top-level directory of your git repository that you cloned, and commit and push this file to the repo.

Part 3: Survey

Create a second plain-text ASCII file, named survey.txt, and also place it in the top-level directory of your git-repository. Commit and push this file after filling out the following survey, with answers formatted roughly like this:

1. I want to take this course because I think visualization will help me
with my research.  

2. Cool ways to visualize my data!  My research focuses on analyzing
simulations of earthquakes, and requires...   

3. C++ (10), Python (5), LOLCODE (2)


You are not required to answer any of the questions if you don’t want to, but non-submission does not count: please write “no answer” if that’s the case.

I am going to use the answers to calibrate the remainder of the course, so this is an opportunity for you to influence where the course goes. There are no right or wrong answers in this questionnaire. All I ask is you answer honestly, without trying to figure out what I might want to read. The more you write, the more I’ll know about your expectations and what you are interested in.

Survey Questions

  1. Why are you taking this course?

  2. What do you think you’ll learn in this course?

  3. List the three programming languages you are most comfortable with, with how many years of experience you have with each

  4. Have you ever created a data visualization? What was it? What tools did you use?

  5. During the course of your studies, what’s the largest dataset you’ve had to deal with? What tools did you use?

  6. What’s the best visualization you’ve ever seen? Why do you like it?

  7. What’s the worst visualization you’ve ever seen? Why do you not like it?

  8. Tell me about something cool you learned recently. If you were meeting with a friend, what would you chat about? Possible answers: books, movies, TV shows, blogs, podcasts, etc. It does not have to be about data visualization.

Grading Rubric

Each part of this assignment is worth exactly 1 percentage point towards your final grade. You can only receive a 1 or a 0 on each part. As such, the usual late-policy described in the syllabus does not apply to this assignment. Please contact the instructor if you need an extension (e.g. because you missed the first day of class).