35 research outputs found

    Intersectionality of Non-normative Identities in the Cultures of Engineering Survey

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    This is a survey measuring students\u27 attitudes and beliefs in engineering. The survey was distributed at four institutions across the U.S. in the fall semester of 2015. Students in first semester first-year engineering courses were surveyed on a paper-and-pencil instrument as part of a larger study. We collected 2,916 valid student responses that were digitized by the research group and audited for accuracy. Validity evidence for this survey has been document in ASEE conference proceedings

    Understanding How Engineering Identity and Belongingness Predict Grit for First-Generation College Students

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    Increasing the participation of underrepresented students, including first-generation college students, in engineering plays a central role in sustaining the U.S. research and innovation capacity. Diversity continues to be recognized as an asset in engineering. However, we also know that the culture of engineering has an implicit assumption about who can be and who is recognized as an engineer. There is also a complex relationship between participation in a community of practice and identity. Diverse students must not only author an identity as an engineer but also must grapple with how that identity, historically constructed as white and masculine, becomes a part of how they see themselves. This research study uses structural equation modeling to examine how first-generation college students’ engineering identity and sense of belongingness in engineering serve as mediators for students’ grit in terms of persistence of effort and consistency of interest. Results reveal that engineering identity has a positive direct effect on students’ sense of belongingness. Both engineering identity and belongingness have a positive direct effect on persistence of effort but were not significant predictors of consistency of interest. Additionally, belongingness is a mediator between engineering identity and persistence of effort. These results begin to uncover how grit is not a stand-alone measure and defies the idea that some students have it while others do not. Persistence of effort is present for first-generation college students when they see themselves as the kinds of people that can do engineering and feel a sense of belongingness within the field. The results of this work highlights ways to support grit development in first-generation college students

    Engineering Women’s Attitudes and Goals in Choosing Disciplines with Above and Below Average Female Representation

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    Women’s participation in engineering remains well below that of men at all degree levels. However, despite the low enrollment of women in engineering as a whole, some engineering disciplines report above average female enrollment. We used multiple linear regression to examine the attitudes, beliefs, career outcome expectations, and career choice of first-year female engineering students enrolled in below average, average, and above average female representation disciplines in engineering. Our work begins to understand how the socially constructed masculine cultural norms of engineering may attract women differentially into specific engineering disciplines. This study used future time perspective, psychological personality traits, grit, various measures of STEM identities, and items related to career outcome expectations as theoretical frameworks. The results of this study indicate that women who are interested in engineering disciplines with different representations of women (i.e., more or less male-dominated) have significantly different attitudes and beliefs, career goals, and career plans. This study provides information about the perceptions that women may have and attitudes that they bring with them into particular engineering pathways

    More Comprehensive and Inclusive Approaches to Demographic Data Collection

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    In this evidence-based practice paper, we discuss ways for researchers and educators to more sensitively, accurately, and effectively collect demographic information on surveys. Identifying variables that capture diversity more broadly is vital in understanding the variety of ways in which students participate in and experiencing engineering education. We frame this discussion through publically available statistics that suggest the potential error in common approaches employed for demographic collection. While basic questions about participants’ sex and ethnicity are standard items in assessment and data collection, these questions only develop a limited representation and potentially present an inaccurate accounting of students’ social identities and honest self-expression. Classic demographic measurement approaches classify students on broad, general, and historically driven elements of diversity typically defined by others rather than individual students. Unfortunately, simply asking a participant to self-identify their gender dichotomously or select from a pre-defined set of ethnicity options has the potential to record information that does not completely or accurately represent a student’s self-identified characteristics or a researchers latent purpose. Alternatively, asking questions via simple open-ended queries both maintains any problem represented in the phrasing of the question as well as presents a major loss in efficiency by requiring a post-collection coding step. In this paper we discuss three major topics through reviews of literature, emergent cultural norms, and suggestions for better practices. First, we will cover the framing of demographic questions to gather the intended information (i.e., differentiating how the student experiences the world and how the world experiences the student). Second, we address ordering of demographic questions and the extended capability provided by modern online collection tools. Finally, using the lessons of parts one and two we offer some examples of improved ways of collecting a variety of demographic information such as gender identity, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation, disability status, and socioeconomic status. The examples will show how researchers can be more sensitive to issues of diversity while at the same time improving research quality

    Numerical simulation of electromagnetic coupling in explicitly meshed wiring looms and bundles

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    In this paper, the Unstructured Transmission Line Modelling (UTLM) method based on a tetrahedral mesh is applied to model the electromagnetic coupling into wire looms and bundles with multiple cores that are typical of an aircraft system, when they are exposed to plane wave illuminations. The impact on the electromagnetic coupling into wires of both bundle configuration and the positioning of the bundle relative to simple structures are investigated using the UTLM method with explicit meshing of the wires. The work not only confirms that UTLM method as a powerful tool for dealing with wire looms and bundles but provides invaluable information on the margins to be expected in key experimental waveform parameters such as peak amplitude and frequency response

    Numerical assessment in the wild: insights from social carnivores

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    Playback experiments have proven to be a useful tool to investigate the extent to which wild animals understand numerical concepts and the factors that play into their decisions to respond to different numbers of vocalizing conspecifics. In particular, playback experiments have broadened our understanding of the cognitive abilities of historically understudied species that are challenging to test in the traditional laboratory, such as members of the Order Carnivora. Additionally, playback experiments allow us to assess the importance of numerical information versus other ecologically important variables when animals are making adaptive decisions in their natural habitats. Here, we begin by reviewing what we know about quantity discrimination in carnivores from studies conducted in captivity. We then review a series of playback experiments conducted with wild social carnivores, including African lions, spotted hyenas, and wolves, which demonstrate that these animals can assess the number of conspecifics calling and respond based on numerical advantage. We discuss how the wild studies compliment those conducted in captivity and allow us to gain insights into why wild animals may not always respond based solely on differences in quantity. We then consider the key role that individual discrimination and cross-modal recognition play in the ability of animals to assess the number of conspecifics vocalizing nearby. Finally, we explore new directions for future research in this area, highlighting in particular the need for further work on the cognitive basis of numerical assessment skills and experimental paradigms that can be effective in both captive and wild settings

    A heterozygous moth genome provides insights into herbivory and detoxification

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    How an insect evolves to become a successful herbivore is of profound biological and practical importance. Herbivores are often adapted to feed on a specific group of evolutionarily and biochemically related host plants1, but the genetic and molecular bases for adaptation to plant defense compounds remain poorly understood2. We report the first whole-genome sequence of a basal lepidopteran species, Plutella xylostella, which contains 18,071 protein-coding and 1,412 unique genes with an expansion of gene families associated with perception and the detoxification of plant defense compounds. A recent expansion of retrotransposons near detoxification-related genes and a wider system used in the metabolism of plant defense compounds are shown to also be involved in the development of insecticide resistance. This work shows the genetic and molecular bases for the evolutionary success of this worldwide herbivore and offers wider insights into insect adaptation to plant feeding, as well as opening avenues for more sustainable pest management.Minsheng You … Simon W Baxter … et al

    Ten-year mortality, disease progression, and treatment-related side effects in men with localised prostate cancer from the ProtecT randomised controlled trial according to treatment received

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    Background The ProtecT trial reported intention-to-treat analysis of men with localised prostate cancer randomly allocated to active monitoring (AM), radical prostatectomy, and external beam radiotherapy. Objective To report outcomes according to treatment received in men in randomised and treatment choice cohorts. Design, setting, and participants This study focuses on secondary care. Men with clinically localised prostate cancer at one of nine UK centres were invited to participate in the treatment trial comparing AM, radical prostatectomy, and radiotherapy. Intervention Two cohorts included 1643 men who agreed to be randomised and 997 who declined randomisation and chose treatment. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis Analysis was carried out to assess mortality, metastasis and progression and health-related quality of life impacts on urinary, bowel, and sexual function using patient-reported outcome measures. Analysis was based on comparisons between groups defined by treatment received for both randomised and treatment choice cohorts in turn, with pooled estimates of intervention effect obtained using meta-analysis. Differences were estimated with adjustment for known prognostic factors using propensity scores. Results and limitations According to treatment received, more men receiving AM died of PCa (AM 1.85%, surgery 0.67%, radiotherapy 0.73%), whilst this difference remained consistent with chance in the randomised cohort (p = 0.08); stronger evidence was found in the exploratory analyses (randomised plus choice cohort) when AM was compared with the combined radical treatment group (p = 0.003). There was also strong evidence that metastasis (AM 5.6%, surgery 2.4%, radiotherapy 2.7%) and disease progression (AM 20.35%, surgery 5.87%, radiotherapy 6.62%) were more common in the AM group. Compared with AM, there were higher risks of sexual dysfunction (95% at 6 mo) and urinary incontinence (55% at 6 mo) after surgery, and of sexual dysfunction (88% at 6 mo) and bowel dysfunction (5% at 6 mo) after radiotherapy. The key limitations are the potential for bias when comparing groups defined by treatment received and changes in the protocol for AM during the lengthy follow-up required in trials of screen-detected PCa. Conclusions Analyses according to treatment received showed increased rates of disease-related events and lower rates of patient-reported harms in men managed by AM compared with men managed by radical treatment, and stronger evidence of greater PCa mortality in the AM group. Patient summary More than 95 out of every 100 men with low or intermediate risk localised prostate cancer do not die of prostate cancer within 10 yr, irrespective of whether treatment is by means of monitoring, surgery, or radiotherapy. Side effects on sexual and bladder function are better after active monitoring, but the risks of spreading of prostate cancer are more common
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