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2017 SPEED Projects

In 2017, SPEED projects were all focused on data visualization.  

Exploring Vanuatu culture, plants and words

David Harrison, Jeremy Fahringer, and Kevin Murphy ’19 (Linguistics)

This project took a complex data set consisting of cultural and landscape photos, cultural videos, digitized plant specimens, story narratives, and place names from the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.  Combining multimedia material with an online map interface provides an unique way to learn about the culture of Vanuatu.    

First Steps

Liz Derickson (Dean’s Office) and Erin Massey (Career Services)

Visualizing a path through Swarthmore’s curriculum and to a career can be challenging for students and academic advisors.  The First Steps project developed visualizations based on students’ academic and career trajectories, to demonstrate the non-linear, liberal arts experience.

See the site at

Visualizing Early Novels Datasets

Rachel Sagner Buurma (English Literature)

The Early Novels Database generates high-quality metadata about novels published between 1660 and 1850 in order to make early works of fiction more available to both traditional and computational modes of humanistic study.  This project created a sophisticated visualization that lets users explore the connections between early novels and their epigraphs.

Abstract Algebra made Solid

Elizabeth Drellich (Mathematics and Statistics)

Algebraic groups can be difficult to visualize, especially in higher dimensions.  This project will develop a website that allows users to generate their own downloadable 3D models of certain finite (complex) reflection groups.  Visit the site at