Last updated
Developer(s) Clifford Konold and Craig D. Miller
Stable release
3.0.36 / October 2023
Operating system Mac OS X, Windows
Type Educational software
License Proprietary
Website Official website

TinkerPlots is exploratory data analysis and modeling software designed for use by students in grades 4 through university. [1] It was designed by Clifford Konold and Craig Miller at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is currently published by Learn Troop. [2] It runs on Windows XP or later and Mac OS 10.4 or later. [3] The program allows users to enter their own data, to import them from other applications or the Web, or to generate them using a sampling engine. The program also comes with 50 multivariate data sets.


Using TinkerPlots, students can make a large variety of graphs, including those specified for middle school in Common Core State Standards for Mathematics But rather than making these graphs directly using commands, students construct them by progressively organizing cases using basic operations including “stack,” “order,” and “separate.” Responding to these operations, case icons animate into different screen positions. The interface was based on observations of people organizing “data cards” on a table to make graphs to answer specific questions [4]

Innovations of TinkerPlots include using a superimposed color gradient [5] to detect covariation in two numeric attributes and a “hat plot,” [6] a reformulated and generalized version of the box plot.

The latest version is 2.3.4. [7] This version does not have substantively different features from versions 2.1 and 2.2, but has a number of bug fixes and enhancements to remain compatible with the latest versions of Windows and MacOS. [8]

Critical acclaim

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  1. "TinkerPlots Overview | Scientific Reasoning Research Institute". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  2. "TinkerPlots: Release History".
  3. "TinkerPlots: System Requirements".
  4. Harradine, A., & Konold, C. (2006). How representational medium affects the data displays students make. In A. Rossman & B. Chance (Eds.) Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS) CD-ROM. Salvador, Bahai, Brazil, July 2–7, 2006.
  5. Konold, C. (2002). "Teaching concepts rather than conventions". New England Journal of Mathematics. 34 (2): 69–81.
  6. Konold, C. (2007). Designing a data tool for learners. In M. Lovett & P. Shah (Eds.), Thinking with data (pp. 267-291). New York: Taylor & Francis.
  7. "TinkerPlots: Get TinkerPlots 2.3".
  8. "TinkerPlots: Release History".

Additional References

Educational Materials using TinkerPlots


  1. "TinkerPlots: Release History".
  2. "TinkerPlots: Get TinkerPlots 3.0".
  3. "TinkerPlots: Get TinkerPlots 2.3".
  4. "New Publisher for TinkerPlots | Scientific Reasoning Research Institute".
  5. "MacWorld Press Release October 4, 2004".