The Mathematics of Infographics


I love infographics and there are some brilliant people making these at the moment. They are fraught with mathematical danger though and interpreting them and creating them depend on strong mathematical awareness and as such they provide opportunities for rich activity in areas of maths that go past statistics like, area and proportion for example. In this session the aim to show a number of examples that, as a group, we would analyse critically and then look at some examples of how these can be created perhaps from some of the data collected in the session ‘Data, Data, everywhere’. All with a view to concrete ideas for lessons.

The Billion Dollargram

We will start with a puzzle based on the famous  'Billion Dollargram' image from information is beautiful.


Here we will look at some examples of infographics and some sources of infographics

 The infographics Show case

 Getting over acne


 A day in the life of the internet

 A collection

 Infographique - a blog

 Infographics on twitter - Infographics source

 Cool infographics

 Best infographics


Consider these infographics....

 Recession and UK families

 To kill a textbook

 Man or Shark

 Coffee and Tea

 Global Water Statistics

For each of the infographics above consider the questions below and each one comes with a series of questions about the mathematics behind them.

  1. How well is the information presenetd
  2. What questions does it make you want to ask
  3. Are there any errors
  4. Suggestions for motive?
  5. Suggestions for improvement?

Creating infographics

Here we will look at some examples of how we might create infographics.

 The anatomy of an infographic

 Olympic Circles - How do I decide the size of my circle?

More Doing - 

Creating a billiondollargram type exercise. Can you always use a rectangle

 The rectangle principle again


When are there more opportunitites for us to create infographics how could we do it?


Need to finish with something cool! -  The probability you exist!

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