F

Notebook

Here's where we post periodic updates on what we've been up to at Fathom. Reflections on the interesting stories that emerge from our client work, side projects, after-hours rabbitholes, and other miscellaneous threads of inquiry.

Our youngest data scientist
Our youngest data scientist has really evolved as an artist since we've known her, using the Fathom offices as a sometimes studio when she is not travelling. She is currently experimenting with large-scale figurative works on paper, exploring the tensions between data visualization and young adult folk iconography:
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Beacon Health Communities
Here at Fathom we're all breathing sighs of relief, having just wrapped up a project that has been in progress for the last year or so. Sadly, you'll have to wait until January to see the fruits of that labor, but in the happy lull that comes after delivering a final product, we thought it was a good time to show off some other fun recent work!
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Annual Reports: now on the iPad
First it was an interactive touch installation. Then it was a web app. Now it's ready for the iPad! Head on over to iTunes to grab your (free!) version today.
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Guardian: Tackling Child Mortality
Our newest piece for the Gates Foundation — a visualization for the Guardian showing the current state of global child mortality — went live this morning!
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Books and Brosters
Not one to be outdone by Chris, I too welcomed an intern this summer! Dana's partner-in-crime Chensh was studying media at NYU and interested in design, and at first I wasn't sure what sort of skills we should focus on with such a short time together. Then she quoted Marshall McCluhan in our first meeting, and I knew we were in for something great.
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New Book: Graphic Design Process
It's always a good day in the office when you get fun things in the mail, and this past week was no exception. Our favorite design and teaching duo Skolos-Wedell sent us an advance copy of their newest book, Graphic Design Process.  Our newest designer Terrence immediately took it for a spin!
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My months of self-monitoring
The final month of 2011 was approaching and I was brunching with a friend in Inman Square. We hadn't seen each other in a couple of weeks, so we spent some time catching up. At some point in the pedestrian conversation, we both remarked on the importance of having health goals. Both of us would be turning thirty in 2012 and wanted one last stab in our twenties to get into peak physical shape. We both had been rock climbing for years, but had recently struggled with a lack of motivation. We needed a game plan. I reached back into my childhood of growing up in the dirty south and latched onto some lessons learned from a rich history of riverboat gamblers–we would need to hedge our bets if this was going to shake out. But how exactly?
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Interns, integers, and complexity
For the week of May 14th, I had the pleasure of having my very own intern. This wasn't just any intern, but Dana Fry, an intern excited about mathematics—rare, I know. After spending some time thinking about a project that (a) would have a relatively low technical barrier to entry, (b) would be open-ended enough to allow exploration (like a freeform jazz odyssey) and (c) wouldn’t require too much cobweb dusting on my part, I decided upon the relatively simple question:
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Collaborative Communities & Online Learning
Just recently, our friend Ricarose Roque came for a visit and talked to us about her latest work.  A Ph.D. student this Fall at the Media Lab in Mitch Resnick’s “Lifelong Kindergarten” group, Ricarose has been thinking about using the group’s project Scratch to explore questions about the gendered use of computers and programming.
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Katy went to Hollywood
Last week, Katy suddenly told us she was going to Hollywood. She picked up a glamorous looking suitcase, and was gone.
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