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The Importance of Undergraduate Inclusion in Research

Presenters Name: 
Makdes Berhanu
Primary Research Mentor: 
Caitlin Wylie
Secondary Research Mentor: 
12:45 - 1:00
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 12:45pm to 1:00pm
Room 481
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Social Science
Grant Program Recipient: 
USOAR Program

The main purpose of the research is to understand the ways in which both undergraduates and graduate students can benefit from working with each. Consequently. I have been tasked with reading transcripts of meetings and interviews from laboratories. After doing this, I worked on coding the data and creating categories for relevant themes. This meant I had to analyze the interactions of different parties within the study. This technique for gathering and analyzing data is known as ethnographic research. That being said, it is important to know that this is a largely qualitative kind of research that allows room for more abstract interpretation of findings. Another way in which we can analyze qualitative data through this technique is to write thick descriptions. Essentially, this is a research writing exercise in which one attempts to expand upon a certain part in a transcript. The goal of this is to personify the participants and fill in details. Some of my main sources for this research include articles such as Becoming an Engineer: Toward a three Dimensional View of Engineering Learning or I Just Love Research authored by Professor Wylie. These articles have given me more backstory as to how to approach the question we have been trying to answer. Even though the results of the study have not been solidified, there are a few recurring themes of self-doubt, nurture, and growth. In the larger context of academia, the particular lab study of focus raised questions on identity, environment, and perseverance.