Visual note taking for me is a process of art rather than merely compiling and coloring my notes. I intend to explore the overlapping area between image and text by implicitly showing the texts through sketching. The objects appearing on the note, including the sword, the girls, and the forest, all have meanings embedded inside them. To elaborate, they represent the crucial concepts I learned in my intermediate microeconomics course. For instance, the two children IR and PE delightfully staring at the point E in the coordinate suggests that E is “individually rational” and “Pareto efficient” (the two economic properties E bears). Therefore, though my visual note is short of words and explanation, they are rich in content given the fact that the picture speaks for itself.

During the visualization, I recognized one of its benefits that images often clarify concepts way better than words do. The top left of the sheet depicts a sword cutting the orange surface: this helps articulate the idea of “partial derivative”. By definition, the partial derivative of a function of two variables is its derivative with respect to one of the variables, with the other held constant. Such theoretical approach often hinders us from fully grasping the knowledge. But the graphical representation is extremely clear: the partial derivative is simplified into a cut in half by a sword.

The implication of visual note taking for me is that it mediates the obscurity words often carry. As an economics and math major, I often encounter sloppy and ambiguous statements that greatly baffle me. Two solutions to such confusion are visualization and application. The latter, involving individuals to plug in random numbers and solve out an equation, fares poorly in the generalization of concepts. Yet visualization, preserving the generalized nature of the theory, is able to simplify and enunciate the abstruse language.