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2014 Research Projects

#ReproHealth: A State-Based Investigation of Reproductive Rights Policy and Social Media Activity

Corrin Morgan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Aaron Noble, University of Baltimore
Erika Alexander, The College of Westchester
Jerome Watts, Haverford College
Jalisa Harris, Washington State University

Research Advisor: Oliver Haimson, University of California at Irvine, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences

Social media is a critical avenue for national discourse – raising awareness, advocating for specific campaigns, mocking current events, and truly revealing the pulse of a nation though the lens of its citizens. With the current fascination regarding big data, there is a push towards discovering correlations between one’s behavior online and their actions in the physical world. Our research seeks to establish a correlation between social media activity and policy in the context of reproductive health. We analyzed state-based reproductive rights policy along with Twitter activity related to reproductive health issues, and found a significant correlation between online political discourse within states and those states’ political and policy-oriented leanings on reproductive health.

Published at iConference 2016

The Customer is Always Right: Analyzing Existing Market Feedback to Improve TVs

Simon Smith, University of Wisconsin Madison
Laurel Rawley, University of Houston
Jose Valderrama, University of Central Florida

Research Advisor: Mark Whiting, Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Online consumer reviews can be analyzed using an algorithm that quantifies the consumer’s sentiments towards a product as well as the sentiment towards specific features of a product. In turn, the covariance between different features can be analyzed and rated. Our research uses both feature and sentiment analysis to illustrate these correlations and consumer preferences.

Published at iConference 2016

Sex Offenders and Interoperability in E-Government: A Qualitative Analysis of SORNA Compliance in Florida and Texas

Llonae Popley Ballintine, The College of Westchester
Denryl Luna, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Monique Perez, University of Arizona
Ervin Bishop, University of Maryland College Park

Research Advisor: Lauren Kilgour, University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences

This study shares preliminary findings from an analysis of U.S. sex offender databases, specifically Texas and Florida. A content and discourse analysis of the federal standards set forth in the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), as well as Florida and Texas penal codes and sex offender standards was performed to understand terminology, risk assessment policies, and registration requirements for offenders. Despite a difference in compliance status, Florida and Texas employed similar standards and data entry requirements in web-based registration databases. This study found that SORNA standards positively influenced data uniformity and interoperability between Florida and Texas sex offender databases and the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW). This research is of broad significance to information science, as it centrally grapples with larger questions about information access, information policy, and information systems and design.

Published at iConference 2016

Beyond Childhood: Mobilizing Applications for Adults with Autism

Rebecca Ly, Washington State University
Marc Hinton, University of Maryland College Park
Dominique Monayong, Jr., University of Pittsburgh
Miguel Colon, The College of New Jersey

Research Advisor: Joshua Cartagena, i3 2011 alumnae

This research seeks to identify existing assistive mobile applications targeted at individuals with autism over the age of 18 (“adults with autism”) who have trouble communicating or lack the ability to live independently. This research seeks to answer the question, “what are the existing gaps in mobile assistive technology for adults with autism?” Through performing a qualitative analysis, we examined existing gaps in mobile assistive technology for adults with autism. Our research analyzed 39 mobile applications by identifying prominent features/characteristics. Our initial findings showed that there needs be an emphasis on communication and functional life skills when creating mobile applications geared towards adults with autism.

Published at iConference 2016

Hacked: A Qualitatitve Analysis of Media Coverage of the Sony Breach

Bre'Ona Williams, University of Central Florida
Alina Bengert, University of Pittsburgh
Brenasia Ward-Caldwell, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Fatima Noor, University of Memphis

Research Advisor: Courtney Loder, University of California at Irvine, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences

With the increase of cyber-attacks, online news media has focused on reporting the immediate consequences after each attack to its audience. While the attention may be on one particular hacking event, media sources tend to analyze and discuss events differently. Focusing on one of the most recent data breaches, the Sony hack, this research describes the findings on the portrayal of the Sony hack by three different online news sources during the first ten days following the breach. A qualitative analysis of data shows each source discussed the hack in a way that appeals to its respective target audience. This research demonstrates that news sources report on the same subject differently in order to adhere to the interest and expectations of their respective audiences.

Published at iConference 2016