The Next Dimension
Contour plots. I love them. You know that the paper you're about to read is going to be good if it's got a decent contour plot in it. They're often done badly, but there's no danger of that now that you are comfortable using matplotlib. Here's an example of one of my most common applications of the contour plot - the thin-film thickness profile. Here you'll be using real data (extracted via ellipsometry) taken from a 10cm x10cm sputtered MgO film on soda-lime glass.