Feeling the burn from computers popping up everywhere—literally everywhere? Want to figure out why in the world a sneaker would need to access your Facebook account?
Check out the Shmoop guide to AP Computer Science Principles for all your computer-themed needs.
In this guide, you'll learn
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A picture speaks a thousand words—except in English class when three pictures don't count as a three thousand-word essay. Le sigh.
In computer science, though, and particularly in data science, pictures count more than words. Patterns and trends in data displayed in tables, diagrams, and textual displays is much more useful than just looking at the numbers. A bar graph can illustrate which countries have a higher population better than a table full of numbers.
Words serve their purpose sometimes. A written summary can sometimes be the simplest way to communicate results. It's more effective to write, "China has the highest world population with around 1.4 billion people" than to write out the entire number and all its zeros alongside the populations of other countries. The computer has already done that analysis, and the researcher doesn't need to know each individual value; she cares about the general trend.
Again, transforming data into pictures is even better than writing a summary. A picture is worth a thousand words, and no one has time to read a thousand-word summary. Graphs are also groovy. If people stare at raw numbers to try and figure out what they mean, they'll get bored or frustrated and give up. Pictures are usually much easier to understand. And that's the main goal of analyzing data to produce information: sharing that knowledge with others in the hopes of improving the human experience.
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