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Michael Friendly

American psychologist

Michael Friendly (born 1945) is an American psychologist, Professor of Psychology at York University in Ontario, Canada, and director of its Statistical Consulting Service, especially known for his contributions on the history of data and information visualisation.

QuotesEdit

 
The graphic portrayal of quantitative information has deep roots. These roots reach into histories of thematic cartography, statistical graphics, and data visualization, which are intertwined with each other. -- Michael Friendly, 2008.
  • Many schools are now introducing computers into the educational curriculum. Within 10 years it is predicted that computers will play a significant role in every classroom in North America. The question is, how will they be used? Many educators have been focusing on the use of computers for drill and programmed instruction—to provide individualized practice and instruction in the usual curriculum areas. There is another use for computers in education which some educators, myself included, find more exciting. These involve using the computer:
• to provide an environment in which learning can be intrinsically motivating and fun.
• to allow children to discover, explore and create knowledge.
• to help develop skills of thinking and problem solving.
• to make some of the most powerful ideas of the burgeoning computer culture accessible and tangible to children at an early age.
If you have ever watched a child playing good video games or if you play them yourself, then you know the powerful motivation that graphics displays can create. As I’ve watched children play these games, every bit of their attention focused on the screen, I’ve often thought how wonderful it would be to harness this motivation and channel it toward intellectual growth and learning...
  • Michael Friendly. Advanced Logo: A Language for Learning. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. 1988. Preface
  • It is common to think of statistical graphics and data visualization as relatively modern developments in statistics. In fact, the graphic representation of quantitative information has deep roots. These roots reach into the histories of the earliest map-making and visual depiction, and later into thematic cartography, statistics and statistical graphics, medicine, and other fields. Along the way, developments in technologies (printing, reproduction) mathematical theory and practice, and empirical observation and recording, enabled the wider use of graphics and new advances in form and content.
  • The graphic portrayal of quantitative information has deep roots. These roots reach into histories of thematic cartography, statistical graphics, and data visualization, which are intertwined with each other. They also connect with the rise of statistical thinking up through the 19th century, and developments in technology into the 20th century. From above ground, we can see the current fruit; we must look below to see its pedigree and germination. There certainly have been many new things in the world of visualization; but unless you know its history, everything might seem novel.

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