Edward Tufte

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope
Edward Tufte

Name: Edward Rolf Tufte

Born: 1942 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Computer-related contributions

  • American statistician and professor emeritus of political science, computer science and statistics at Yale University.
  • Known for his writings on information design and as a pioneer in the field of data visualization.
  • Coined the term "chartjunk" to refer to useless, non-informative, or information-obscuring elements of quantitative information displays.
  • Other key concepts of Tufte are the lie factor, the data-ink ratio, and the data density of a graphic.

Significant publications

  • The Civil Rights Movement and Its Opposition. PhD thesis (1968).
  • Size & Democracy. with Robert Dahl (1973).
  • Data Analysis for Politics and Policy (1974).
  • Political Control of the Economy (1978).
  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (1983).
  • Envisioning Information (1990).
  • Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative (1997).
  • "PowerPoint is evil" In: Wired 11 (9) (2003).
  • The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint (2003).
  • Beautiful Evidence (2006).

Honors and awards

  • Fellow of the American Statistical Association.


"95% of the published literature is junk. Only 5% you have to read. You have to identify it. You have to have a sense of relevance."