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Meet the 2014 Summer Instructors: Hilla Katki

A few quick questions with Hilla Katki, upcoming summer instructor for Visualizing Information.


Hilla Katki knows how to tell stories through complex data. At Bloomberg, she served as design director for a specialized visual data team, crafting a series of exciting web and mobile features like the “Billionaires Index, and many others. Today she’s helping The New York Times shape political and policy stories through their recently launched product, The Upshot. Hilla returns this summer to teach a four week course titled “Visualizing Information” as part of the Summer Intensive in Interaction Design. We caught up with her to see what students can expect this summer.

Tell us something about your summer course we might not expect based on its course description.

The class may be called “Visualizing Information,” but it’s really about story-telling: Is the data telling you something you didn’t already know before? Can it provide a new perspective?

What will students be making or working on in your class this year?

Students will use data sets of their own choosing to tell a story through data visualization.

Got a good book or article recommendation for people interested in the course?

  • “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”, Edward Tufte
  • “Semiology of Graphics”, Jacques Bertin
  • “Visualize This”, Nathan Yau

What are you excited for in NYC this summer (aside from the summer intensive)?

I’m excited to take my daughter to swimming lessons for the first time!

What are you working on these days?

At the New York Times, we just launched The Upshot, a site that utilizes news, analysis and data visualization to explain politics and policy. On a personal note, I’m working with my brother who is a biostatistician at the National Cancer Institute on an app to explain cervical cancer test results to doctors and patients.

Visualizing Information is one of five summer intensive courses in interaction design offered to the public by the MFA Interaction Design program at SVA. To learn more about the program, visit the Summer Intensive in Interaction Design

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