Edward Tufte

  Male      American      Educator

  Born : Mar 14, 1942  

About Author

Edward Rolf Tufte(born March 14, 1942) is an American statistician and professor emeritus of political science, statistics, and computer science at Yale University. He is noted for his writings on information design and as a pioneer in the field of data visualization.

Edward Rolf Tufte was born in 1942 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Virginia Tufte and Edward E. Tufte (1912-1999). He grew up in Beverly Hills, California, where his father was a longtime city official, and graduated from Beverly Hills High School. He received a BS and MS in statistics from Stanford University and a PhD in political science from Yale. His dissertation, completed in 1968, was entitled The Civil Rights Movement and Its Opposition. He was then hired by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, where he taught courses in political economy and data analysis while publishing three quantitatively inclined political science books.

In 1975, while at Princeton, Tufte was asked to teach a statistics course to a group of journalists who were visiting the school to study economics. He developed a set of readings and lectures on statistical graphics, which he further developed in joint seminars he taught with renowned statistician John Tukey, a pioneer in the field of information design. These course materials became the foundation for his first book on information design, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.

After difficult negotiations with mainline publishers failed, Tufte decided to self-publish Visual Display in 1982 where he worked closely with graphic designer Howard Gralla. He financed the work by taking out a second mortgage on his home. The book quickly became a commercial success and secured his transition from political scientist to information expert...

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