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University Libraries’ Data Visualization Awards Recognize Outstanding Student Work

Three USC Ph.D. candidates are the winners of University Libraries’ inaugural Graduate Student Data Visualization Awards.

Information and Communications doctoral student Carrie Xiao earned first place honors for “The Importance of the World’s Mangroves.” Two students were awarded second place: Berthe Abi Zeid (Public Health) for “How are food and water insecurity associated with health outcomes in older Syrian refugees in Lebanon?” and Rachel Hantman (Clinical-Community Psychology) for "General Pediatrician Availability, ASD prevalence, and ADHD prevalence per 100K Children per County.”

Carrie Jungyi Xiao project

The awards reflect the growing importance of data visualization and celebrate excellence in research by graduate students across the university. 

“The realm of data science is exploding across multiple disciplines,” said Data Visualization Librarian Glenn Bunton, who coordinated the awards. “As our use of data becomes ever more sophisticated, skilled visualization of that data so that it’s presented clearly, accurately and effectively becomes all the more essential.”

With services ranging from Data Analysis and Statistics support to Research Data Management to Data Visualization, University Libraries supports data-driven research by USC faculty and students at all stages of the research process. Bunton’s work with graduate students was what convinced him their research merited the kind of recognition the Data Visualization Awards afford. “This year’s entries really showcase the great research our graduate students are doing,” he said. “I’m very appreciative of Libraries Administration’s support of these awards.”

Like University Libraries’ longstanding Undergraduate Research Awards, the Data Visualization Awards invite students to submit work they’ve completed for classroom assignments or ongoing research projects. 

While each winner received a cash prize, Xiao said the less tangible rewards of having her research recognized are just as valuable” “I am truly grateful for the University Libraries for organizing such an amazing competition and for providing me with the opportunity to showcase my research, Winning the competition and being awarded $1000 is an incredible boost to my confidence and motivation.”

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