Previous winners

2022 Challenge Winners

Riley Zuckert, First place, Undergraduate student: 'University Homework Costs Interactive Dashboard'

Data Visualization Challenge 2022 entry by Riley Zuckert

Riley Zuckert

​​Universities are notorious for charging students large amounts of money to purchase necessary supplies for school, such as textbooks and homework access codes. Student success is the vision for colleges, but does the sheer amount of money students pay to obtain an education and associated materials hinder their ability to flourish? To understand the root of the problem, the amount of money University of Arizona students pay to acquire their textbooks and homework codes in a semester was analyzed through a talk back board. This data was collected through a UA Libraries UX Team initiative, led by Riley Zuckert (

Source code


Irene Pineda, First place, Graduate/Professional student: 'Plant Trees in Pomona for a Sustainable Future'

Data Visualization Challenge 2022 entry by Irene Pineda

Irene Pineda

The city of Pomona, named after the Roman goddess of fruit, historically was known to be as rich as its fertile soil. It now has become dominated by commercial buildings often paired with oversized parking lots. An environmental analysis was conducted to help better understand which areas of the city are in desperate need of vegetation. Observing impervious surfaces vs pervious, the maps generated provided insight of where trees should be planted to combat the heat and ultimately make the city more sustainable for future residents. A handful of sources were used through GIS, USGS, EPA, and Census data was also retrieved.

Sydney Brandt, Second place, Undergraduate student: 'Sydney's Spotify Listening Frequency'

Data Visualization Challenge 2022 entry by Sydney Brandt

Sydney Brandt

I have always been inspired by websites created using Spotify's API. I wanted to create a project using my own listening data; I downloaded my data from the Profile settings on Spotify's website. From there, I imported the JSON files into RStudio, took a look, and developed my 24-hour listening clocks. They capture many of my music habits: I stream music more in the evening and night, I traditionally play my study music around 7pm to 2am, and I listen to my roadtrip music the most around 8pm and 4-5am (the times I typically commute to and from Phoenix).

Liliana Salas, Second place, Graduate/Professional student: 'Bogota Population Density and Spatial Distribution of Bus Stops'

Data Visualization Challenge 2022 entry by Liliana Salas

Liliana Salas

This dashboard presents Bogota's population density per Urban Planning Unit (UPU). UPUs are on a yellow to red scale, being the red ones the densest UPUs. The bar chart on the right-hand side shows UPUs sorted descendent based on the number of bus stops they have within their boundaries. When clicking any of those bars, that UPU is shown on the map. There are also two filters that allow selecting UPUs by both population density and number of bus stops. Is the number of bus stops per UPU proportional to population density across the city? Sources: and

Interactive dashboard


Dylan Girone, Third place, Undergraduate student: 'Weather Satellite Imagery: Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar'


Cloud structure and composition can be determined by measuring the reflectivity of a storm. Liquid water reflects light more than ice crystals or hail so the region of the storm responsible for the most rainfall can be diagnosed as the region with highest reflectivity. NASA’s Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) uses microwave imagery to create a composite 3D image of the cloud’s reflectivity in 5-kmx5-km grids every 125m (about 410.1 ft) vertically. The accompanying animation displays that data for the Eye of Hurricane Ida just before it made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, 2021. Data Retrieved from GES DISC (

Sarah Eggleston, Third place, Graduate/Professional student: 'Male Contraception'

Data Visualization Challenge 2022 entry by Sarah Eggleston

Sarah Eggleston

This infographic on male contraception shows highlights issues, facts, and figures on both sides of the debate as to whether men should have as many contraception choices as women. To construct this infographic, information was drawn from various medical information sources across the web and are listed on the infographic itself. This multimodal composition was created as a class assignment in TLS 530: Literacy and Technology.

Duan Copeland, Honorable mention, Graduate/Professional student: 'Meta-Analysis of the Honey Bee Bacteriome'

Data Visualization Challenge 2022 entry by Duan Copeland

Duan Copeland

This Krona projection are the results of a meta-analysis of the honey bee gut bacteriome. We identified 26 studies spanning four continents, comprising 3000 western honey bee, Apis mellifera, gastrointestinal tract samples targeting bacterial 16S rRNA genes. Honey bees have a relatively simple and stable microbiota consisting of ten major phylotypes: Lactobacillus, Gilliamella, Snodgrassella, Bombilactobacillus, Frischella, Bifidobacterium, Bombella, Apilactobacillus, Commensalibacter, and Bartonella. Other taxa belonging to the rare biosphere (low abundance and prevalence) warrant further investigation. Click the “Color by % Prevalence” toggle and explore the interactive dataset through different honey bee gut niches refined to >97% bacterial species similarity.

Interactive dashboard


2021 Challenge Winners

Winning entries also available on the University of Arizona Research Data Repository

Tintin Nguyen, First place, Undergraduate student: "The Probability of Coin Toss"

Data Visualization Challenge 2021 entry by Bao “Tintin” Nguyen

The Law of Large Numbers and the Central Limit Theorem are two of the most fundamental and elegant theorems in Probability Theory. However, these concepts are impractical to demonstrate because they require an immense number of trials to observe the long-term behaviors of random variables. Therefore, this case study runs computer simulations on coin tossing as an intuitive example to explain these statistical concepts. The visualizations provide insights into the theorems without mathematically rigorous proofs, making them accessible for introductory statistics learners.

Heidi Steiner, First Place, Graduate/professional student: "Trends in Affirmative Asylum Grantees in the United States"

Data Visualization Challenge 2021 entry by Heidi Steiner

Every year people come to the United States (US) seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will due to their race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group. Asylum is a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the US or arriving at the border who meet the international law definition of a “refugee”. This visualization aims to understand population movement during the last 20 years. I use aggregated refugee and asylee data from the Department of Homeland Security. I show patterns in population movement vary over time based on political failures preceding movement.

Source code

Melanie Gin, Second Place, Undergraduate student: "Top Reason Books Were Challenged By Age Group Between 2010-2019"

Data Visualization Challenge 2021 entry by Melanie Gin

The data pertains to children through young-adult books challenged in United States libraries and schools from 2010-2019—separated as “children” (2-10), “middle” (11-13), and “young-adult” (14-17). The graph provides some information about the reason(s) books are challenged. This data was obtained and modified from the Illinois Library Association (ILA), American Library Association (ALA), and the University of Toledo. Adult books taught in classes, such as The Great Gatsby, Beloved, etc., are not included. “Unsuitable for age group” acts as “other” category for “appropriate for older ages,” “dark themes,” “occult,” or reason not provided.

Elaine Rhee, Second Place, Graduate/professional student: "Golden State Warriors Passing Analysis (2020-2021)"

Data Visualization Challenge 2021 entry by Elaine Rhee

TThe graph presents the passing analysis of the Golden State Warriors (2020-2021). The data is from the official NBA website. Graph interpretation: The greater the size of the dots, the more a player interacted with the other players. The thicker the line, the more score was earned from the two players’ passes. Features of the graph: - Click on a player to highlight the player’s part of the graph. - Hover on the dots to see the list of players that a player interacted with. - Move around the dots wherever you want to customize the graph. - Zoom in or out.

Ashwin Raj, Third Place, Undergraduate student: "Clustering NBA Players Based on Offensive and Defense Skillset"

Data Visualization Challenge 2021 entry by Ashwin Raj

This project uses 2019 NBA Player data from basketball-reference to cluster NBA players into roles based on their offensive and defensive skillsets. Using 3-pointers made as the offensive metric and steals as the defensive metric, and then standardizing these metrics per 36 minutes, players were clustered as Low-Impact, Bench Defense, Bench Offense, Shooters, Two-Way, and Elite. Teams can use this data about their players to determine rotations, offensive & defensive strategy, and even potential trades. The cluster analysis was done using K-Means with k=6, and the interactive plot was created using GGPlot and Plotly.

Interactive graph

Source code


Kathryn Busby, Third Place, Graduate/professional student: "The Birds and the Bees: Can a plant prevent woodpecker predation on a native bee?"

Data Visualization Challenge 2021 entry by Kathryn Busby

Complex conditions drive organisms’ strategies, including interactions with antagonists. We examined a predator-prey interaction between native bees and their woodpecker predators that may be altered by the bees’ nest plant. In southeastern Arizona, carpenter bees build nests inside dried inflorescence stalks of plants such as sotol. Woodpeckers prey upon carpenter bee larvae inside these stalks, but sotol’s dense rosette of barbed leaves may protect larvae. We hypothesized that nests surrounded by leaves would be less accessible to woodpeckers, increasing predation on higher nests. This could drive nest placement. To test this hypothesis, we recorded locations of nests, rosettes, and predation.

Torin Hodge, Honorable Mention, Undergraduate student: "Unregulated Industrial Well Drilling in Rural Southeast Arizona"

Data Visualization Challenge 2021 entry by Torin Hodge

The purpose of this visualization is to demonstrate the threat of unregulated groundwater pumping in rural Arizona. The data comes from publicly available well registry data provided by My Grandmother has lived in the area near the sample data for thirty years and has growing concerns about her well running dry due to competition from neighboring cattle-feed growing operations, many of which are from out of state.

Source code


Christina Scarpitti, Honorable Mention, Graduate/professional student: "Resilient Energy: Community-Scale Microgrid Siting on the Island of Puerto Rico"

Data Visualization Challenge 2021 entry by Christina Scarpitti

In the wake of hurricane Maria, after suffering the longest power outage in US history, the Governor of Puerto Rico endorsed a plan to transition the island to 100% renewable energy by 2050 - making Puerto Rico a unique testing ground for building back smarter and more resilient through community-scale solar microgrids. This report evaluates possible sites for piloting community-scale solar microgrid projects in Puerto Rico. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data is used to select a study area based on social and environmental vulnerability. A multi-criteria evaluation of buildings within the study area reveals various possible configurations for providing renewable, resilient energy to the service community.

2020 Challenge Winners

Winning entries also available on the University of Arizona Research Data Repository

Reagen Leimbach, First place, Undergraduate student: "Stacking of Galaxy Spectra"

Data Visualization Challenge 2020 entry by Reagan Leimbach

Kelsey Gonzalez, First place, Graduate/professional student: "How has human mobility changed under the COVID-19 Pandemic?"

Data Visualization Challenge 2020 entry by Kelsey Gonzalez

Jazmyn Winzer, Second place, Undergraduate student: "Botanical Gardens as Butterfly Hotspots in Urban Landscapes"

Data Visualization Challenge 2020 entry by Jazmyn Winzer

Miranda Rintoul, Second place, Graduate/professional student: "The Price of Fertility"

Data Visualization Challenge 2020 entry by Miranda Rintoul

Rob Lucha, Third place, Undergraduate student: "Wage & Value"

Data Visualization Challenge 2020 entry by Rob Lucha

Stephanie Martin, Third place, Graduate/professional student: "Vesuvius Past and Present: Modern emergency planning compared to ancient hazards"

Data Visualization Challenge 2020 entry by Stephanie Martin