For a final project in my "Islam in Western Contexts" class, I decided to explore the English-language discourse surrounding Islam and Muslims on Twitter. In class we had discussed how Orientalism can be perpetuated by traditional print and broadcast media. As social media are beginning to fill similar roles as traditional media platforms, I wanted to compare the discourse. I used the Twitter streaming API to gather tweets and used network visualizations and content analysis to understand how Orientalism was a characteristic of social media discourse. Using a hashtag co-occurrence graph, I looked for evidence of bot influence. I then qualitatively coded tweets to elicit Orientalist themes.
I had the opportunity to work with other members of the emCOMP lab while studying the role of botnets in propagating alternative narratives related to the 2015 Paris Attacks and Umpqua Community College shooting on Twitter. Our work followed information flow around a "shared audience" network graph - we used mixed methods analysis to label communities of users and understand their interactions.
I love being able to study topics that are so politically and culturally relevant - our work was even featured on the local news.
Alternative Narratives of Crisis Events: Communities and Social Botnets Engaged on Social Media
A. Conrad Nied, Leo Stewart, Emma Spiro, Kate Starbird
Poster Presentation at CSCW 2017
Through my HCDE coursework, I had the chance to develop my qualitative research skills through a study of hobbyist cooks. This class really piqued my interest in qualitative methods, and I enjoyed all steps of the process, from conducting interviews and observations, to qualitatively coding findings, to reading existing research and composing a final report.
Conducting interviews and qualitatively coding the results is exciting to me for several reasons. Firstly, I must set aside my own biases in order to ask the right questions and see patterns in the results. The more that I am able to tune out my preconceptions, the more I learn from the interviewee. This has taught me to recognize where my prejudices lie and to push beyond them. Secondly, I see capturing someone's story as a privilege. I love to learn how interviewees see the world, and I always come away from an interview with a new perspective.
For this project, I used interviews, contextual inquiry, and a literature review to learn about how hobbyist cooks build their skills and transition to cooking alone. My findings indicated that for many cooks,
I spent both summer 2015 and summer 2016 as an intern at Motorola Solutions, based in Seattle. Through this experience, I built on my previous knowledge of software development in industry. This project was especially interesting, as I worked on an Android client of a large and complex communication platform. I also had the opportunity to develop an Android Wear module to work with the Android mobile app.
As the app is designed for use in high-pressure scenarios, my coworkers and mentors prioritized test-driven development and resilient code. Correspondingly, I learned a lot about testing code from all angles, including unit tests and integration tests.
Working with a team of three other HCDE students, I developed a Tableau visualization that displayed both bike thefts and bike racks in Seattle, with the goal of allowing users to find a safe place to park their bike. My role was primarily data collection and cleaning, although I also assisted with designing and building the Tableau visualization. The visualization also allowed users to filter by year to view temporal bike theft trends.
This paper was the product of an Honors class on the politics of public space. I worked with two other students to explore the extent to which Capitol Hill served as a safe space for Seattle the LGBT+ community using interviews, observational studies, and theory. This project was especially exciting for me, as I learned how to talk about the issues facing the LGBT+ community in an educated way and had a chance to share stories from the LGBT+ community embedded in the greater context of social movements.
My role in the research was primarily conducting interviews with community members, along with reviewing existing research. While our data collection was a team effort, this paper represents my own analysis of the findings.
This paper was the culmination of a quarter of work involving interviews, field observations, and a survey, as well as a grounding in other research work. Through this assignment, I learned about various qualitative methods of research, as well as how to qualitatively code findings and communicate the results in the context of understanding how and why entrepreneurs set up their businesses in a coworking environment. The subject of this study was Startup Hall, a local startup incubator where startups can rent desk space.
This internship was my first experience doing software development in industry, I learned how to use various tools for Android development and work with a team of developers.