This is the home of the creative work of Paul Butler.

I create pen plots, explorable explanations, and code notebooks (among other things).

Office Supply Pointillism

March 2019

An attempt at creating a photorealistic reproduction of an image using 1,500 colored dot stickers.

I used Floyd– Steinberg dithering to determine the dot placement and then placed the stickers by hand.

An explorable exploration of the Kelly Criterion for bet sizing.

A code notebook that takes a mathematical approach to forensic video analysis.

November 2018

A data portal that uses interactive visualizations to explain ranked choice election results.

An explorable explanation of some unintuitive implications of the electoral college.

A tour of complex arithmatic, leading to the construction of the Mandelbrot fractal.

A runnable notebook that explains how to model plotter path optimization as a routing optimization problem.

Sketch Experiments

January 2018

A series of plots exploring ways to generate sketches from a photograph, including a Metropolis–Hastings random walk.

Surface Projection

December 2017

A series of plots using a technique I call surface projection, and a code notebook that explains it.

A series of plots generated by Lindenmayer Systems, and a notebook explaining the technique.


December 2016

A browser extension for visualizing the tree structure of Twitter conversations.

Exploration of an alternative UI for presenting international flight options.

A map of New York City made from 60,000 flags, drawn proportionately from the birthplaces of the foreign-born inhabitants of each census tract.

Created for an art exhibition in Cleveland, Ohio.

Interactive visualization of point-to-point transit times on Toronto’s TTC transit network.

Winner of the Kontagent Big Data Challenge ($10K prize.)

Daily Deals

February 2011

Interactive visualization of Groupon deals collected from the web in 2011, shortly before their IPO.

Featured in the July-August 2011 Harvard Business Review

Visualization of ten million Facebook friend pairs. Featured on the Facebook Engineering blog as well as The Economist, BBC, and Time.