Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Sonia Fereidooni

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Autumn 2022

Research Project: Designing a Justice-Based Intermediate Computing Curriculum

Project Description: This project focuses on how students of different visible and invisible identities (especially underrepresented identities, i.e. female students; Black students; students with disabilities) respond to a justice-centered approach to computing by engaging ethics, identity, and political vision in the computing course. We are implementing our design in CSE 373. 

What have you learned throughout your research project? 

I have learned how to conduct a formal and eligible survey among a student body at the University of Washington. Usually, there are many legal requirements and permissions that are needed, as well as a formal and ethical way to conduct the study and collect survey responses from collegiate students. Learning how to perform a research study in an ethical and legal manner was an intricate process that I found to be very important for pursuing future research studies among collegiate students. I also learned much of how to work with qualitative data in response-based research. Student experience is a very important metric and cannot be converted to a quantifiable metric, as it takes away from the importance and weight of their words. Being able to code qualitative responses into fact-based data used for research is an important skill that I was able to hone throughout this project. 

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

Keep exploring, keep asking questions, and keep obsessing over the different paths your research takes you!