Shelly Cox

Clemson Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Collaborative Data Visualization Applications Summer 2015

Home Institution

Loras College
Dubuque, Iowa

Clemson Research Mentors

Jeff Kallin
Director of Athletic Communications
Jonathan Gantt
Director of New Media

Clemson Visualization Mentor

Dr. Vetria Byrd

About Shelly

  • I am interested in learning and enjoying life.
  • Hiking, swimming, sand volleyball
  • I have taken Calculus 1-3, Linear Algebra, Discrete Mathematics, Probability and Statistics, Data Structures and Algorithms, Human Computer Interaction, Computer Organization and Architecture.
  • Senior and First Year Engineering Award (2014), Nominee for Anna Lenehan First-year Award (2014)

My name is Shelly Cox. I grew up in Peoria, Arizona. I currently go to college in Dubuque, Iowa. In high school, I developed my interest in programming and decided to pursue it.

Project Description

The project I am working on is the Sports Stats Presentation. With this project I will be creating a database with the XML files provided. We will then use this database to display individual stats of Clemson athletes on the Clemson athletic website. The stats will be displayed in easy to read tables and will provide a better experience for the user.

Week 1

I met with my research mentors and learned more about my project on Monday. Later that night, I researched database software programs that import XML files easily and found several. The next day, my mentor, Jeff Kallin, and I discussed the overall goal for the project and then set a smaller goal to work towards first. I was then given some homework to decided how I want to start the project like which sport would be easiest to tackle first.I decided to start with volleyball. I was given three different examples of the xml files to look over.

Week 2

I spent some more time researching the software programs more in depth to see which would be the best to use. I also looked up volleyball stats to learn what each stat is. After looking over the websites, my mentor sent me, I began to brainstorm ideas for what we should add to our website. I started my PowerPoint presentation for week 5.

Week 3

This week I spent looking for different ways to represent the data given in an interesting and useful manner.Since I am working with volleyball and there isn’t as much on volleyball stats as baseball and basketball, I looked at visualizations that are not volleyball related, but could be used with the data I have. One I found was a graph depicting different positions of basketball players related to their height and weight. Although interesting, it is not the direction we want to go with for this project.I also found a Prezi that talked about creating a graph of the players to determine which 6 players have the best stat and therefore should be the starters. I also read this article about year to year consistency of hitting in volleyball. I also was looking up the different positions on a volleyball team, where each position is played on the court, and what the description is of the position in order to determine what statistics would be the most important for each position. I also was finally able to start working on the database using MySQL. Since our midterm presentation is coming up, I also worked on my abstract and updated my PowerPoint.

Week 4

I worked on adding some different tables into my database. On monday, I also attended a class to learn more about RStudio. I will be using RStudio to create tables and graphs of the stats. I tried to create some search queries, but was unsuccessful. However, I was able to connect to the database and read the data into RStudio. I began playing around with the data and plotting various stats to see if there was any interesting trends. I found some packages for RStudio like R Markdown, which might be helpful when turning the output into HTML. Next week, I will make the plots look nicer as well as start creating some of the tables for the website.

Week 5

This week I finalized my abstract and my powerpoint for the midterm presentation. Although the table is plain right now, I was able to create one. I was also able to test the R Markdown package by adding my table to the clemson tiger's webpage. In week 6, I plan on enhancing the table for Kristin Faust. After I have her table complete, I can then easily change the data for the rest of the players. My mentor, Jeff Kallin, gave me a great idea for what to plot and so I will be working on the graphs as well. Here is my table and plot as of right now.

Player  Year  gp  mp ms    k   e   ta   pct   a sa  se  dig bs ba be bhe  pts
Kristin Faust  2011  90  26 19  176  90  524 0.164  10 21  49  212  3 22  4   1  211
Kristin Faust  2012 107  31 31  253 128  758 0.165  31 30  62  332  3 46  7   0  309
Kristin Faust  2013 123  31 18  203 113  711 0.127  68 21  37  403  3 16  4   0  235
Kristin Faust  2014 106  28 28  373 154 1169 0.187  34 25  45  278  1 36  5   0  417
Kristin Faust TOTAL 426 116 96 1005 485 3162 0.164 143 97 193 1225 10 120 20   1 1172

Week 6

This week I worked on the table and was able to add some more features. Certain stats are highlighted orange if the number fits into the top 100 rank. I used the NCAA volleyball stats webpage to find the top 100 rankings. A search bar was added as well. I am having trouble displaying the new table on a webpage and hope to fix this problem quickly next week. I will be adding tags to the column headers and fixing some small details on the table. Then I will focus on the graphs. On Wednesday, the cohort talked to Jim Bottum. We learned about his career and how he ended up where he is now. I enjoyed hearing his stories. This weekend, we also participated in a mini conference at the College of Charleston with 3 other REU sites. We gave 2 minute presentations of our projects as well as a 3 minute unposter session. This was a great experience and has helped me better prepare. Two things I learned from this conference are:

  • Use as much time that is allowed to clearly inform people about your project
  • Try and engage the audience into the conversation

Week 7

With some help, I was able to add the table to the Clemson Tiger's website. Volleyball players from 2007-2013 were also added into the table. My mentor and I have decided to have the table display all of the players on one webpage instead of creating individual tables for every player. This new approach allows users to look at all the players with ease or search a specific player if they desire. I was unable to add tags to the columns headers. As a solution, I decided to rename the column headers from the statistic abbreviation to the full name. Although it does not define the statistic, it is easier for the user to understand and look up the defintion if needed.

Click here to view my lighting talk powerpoint.

Week 8

This week I wrapped up my project and turned in the data files where necessary. I then updated my abstract and created a poster. Since we have final presentations on friday, I updated my midterm presentation. I also wrote about my experience from the College of Charleston mini conference from week 6. Although there is much more I would like to add to my project, I am pleased with what I have and the time I have spent at Clemson University.

In My Own Words

Click here to view my writing experience on the College of Charleston Mini Conference.
Click here to view my writing experience on the VisREU.

Last updated: 07/28/2015