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Masterclass: Effective Data Visualisation with R

9 - 10 September 2024

Chancellors Suite 1 and 2, Rootes Building, University of Warwick

Warwick Statistics is proud to host a two-day CRiSM Masterclass in Effective Data Visualisation with R, lead by Paul Murrell. Paul is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland and core developer of R specializing in graphics.


Registration covers both days (10am to 4:30pm) and includes free parking, catered refreshment and lunch breaks:

PGR/Academic/Research-adjacent staff, UKRI eligible organization Free of charge
Participant, other non-profit organization £100
Participant, business/industry £200

Accommodation in the campus halls of residence (Arthur Vick, Jack Martin or Bluebell) can be booked during the registration process at £65 pppn, to be paid on arrival.

The registration page is under construction and will be announced when open, including on the Statistics department and allstat mailing lists, the Warwick R Users Yammer and the Warwick Data Community Forum. Details on this page may be updated before registration opens.


This course will cover the two big data visualisation questions: what should I draw and how should I draw it.

We will look at the process of converting our data into a visual representation and build up a set of guidelines that take advantage of the strengths of our visual system and avoid its weaknesses. We will also learn how to apply those guidelines to create data visualisations using the {ggplot2} package in R.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of a data visualisation.
  • Design your own effective data visualisation.
  • Create your own effective data visualisation using R.


Monday 9 September 10:00-10.30 Registration and coffee
  10.30-12.00 Introduction to Data Visualisation and The Human Visual System
  12.00-13.00 Lunch break
  13.00-14.30 The {ggplot2} Package and Visualising Quantitative Data
  14.30-15.00 Coffee break
  15.00-16.30 Visualising Qualitative Data and Visual Accuracy
Tuesday 10 September 10.00-10.30 Coffee
  10.30-12.00 Combining Visual Dimensions and Multiple Visual Dimensions
  12.00-13.00 Lunch break
  13:00-14:30 Labels and Graphic Design
  14.30-15.00 Coffee break
  15:00-16:30 Customisation and Review


Participants are expected to be familiar with using R as a data science tool, i.e., writing R scripts to use functions from base R or add-on packages.

Participants are expected to bring their own laptops, with R and the {ggplot2} package installed.


A timeline plot showing a photo of the tutor at age 45 and at age 65, with a question mark half-way between

Paul Murrell (University of Auckland)

Paul attended The University of Auckland for his BSc (in Computer Science), BA (in Psychology), MSc (in Psychology), and PhD (in Statistics). He then spent a year at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Community Medicine as a medical statistician and research assistant, before joining the Department of Statistics at The University of Auckland as a Lecturer in 1999.

Paul is still a member of the Department of Statistics at The University of Auckland, but he is now an Associate Professor.

Paul is a member of the R-core development team for the R Project for Statistical Computing and Graphics, with a primary focus on the graphics system in R. He teaches a graduate course on Data Visualisation at The University of Auckland.

Assistant Tutors

Paul will be assisted by Ella Kaye, Research Software Engineer (RSE) and Heather Turner, EPSRC RSE Fellow/Associate Professor from the Statistics Department at Warwick.


Course-related (eligibility, accessibility, etc): Heather Turner (h dot turner dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk).

Administrative (venue, registration process, etc): Kathrin Schütrumpf (stats dot events at warwick dot ac dot uk).

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