This interactive visualization created using d3 and jQuery captures the seating habits of a group of graduate students attending the class 15.514 in the summer of 2011.
The top of the visualization represents the front of the classroom. Larger circles mean that a student has sat in a seat more often. Right now, the categorical classification is based on fuzzy criteria wherein a "zone" is considered any discernible cluster in any one part of the classroom. This may be a tight cluster in a particular spot or one with a larger spread on a set of rows (e.g. front of the class). Students with fewer than ten observations have been filtered out.
Hovering over a circle highlights all other ones for the student as well as his or her name.
Selecting an arbitrary number of students, ideally two to three, and clicking on the play time-series button plays an animated sequence of their distributions throughout the semester. Missing data are shown as faded-out circles. For such cases, the seating position from the previous class is used.