All posts by WIC

New Statistical Software Consultant

Patricia PoseyPatricia Posey, our new statistical software consultant, begins this coming week, offering appointments to provide assistance with statistical software, including R, Stata, and SPSS. She welcomes questions about proper commands, data visualization, and regression analysis. She cautions that her assistance is not intended to help students decide on the suitability of a given statistical method for their research, pick which datasets to use, or interpret results that should be based on the researcher’s ideas and discipline-specific expectations.

Patricia is a 4th year doctoral candidate in Political Science, where she specializes in American Politics. Her research investigates how financial services influence the political engagement and political attitudes of racial and ethnic minorities. Her statistical experience covers analysis of a variety of social science data sets. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida in 2013.

Patricia will be offering statistical software help by appointment on Monday and Tuesday afternoons at WIC in room 116, starting on January 30th. Use the online scheduler to view her availability and request an appointment.

laptop computer displaying a news website with the heading "fake news"

Information Literacy Workshops

The phenomenon of fake news has become a hot topic, ironically, of major news outlets in recent months. News stories are being presented as fact without any substantial backing in truth. There are many reasons why fake news happens and is promulgated. They vary from personal monetary gain to accidental, well-intentioned spread of misinformation.

With so many reasons tempting so many people to promulgate fake news, how do you know what sources to trust? How do you know the supposed rise of fake news isn’t merely a fake news story itself, anyway? Penn Libraries can help with that.

During the month of January, Penn Libraries will be offering a three-part Information Literacy Workshop series about evaluating news sources. Each workshop will highlight a different kind of misinformation while preparing participants to recognize and mediate false information in their own news consumption.

A workshop entitled Fake News: Pinpointing Lies, Hoaxes, and Conspiracy Theories will kick off the series and takes place on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 from 3-4:30pm in the Weigle Information Commons Seminar Room. This installation focuses on evaluating false information.

The next two workshops feature strategies for identifying Slippery News and Shoddy News – distinctions that have recently become necessary. In brief, slippery news refers to stories that aren’t meant to maliciously deceive but are hotbeds for misinformation. The shoddy news workshop, on the other hand, will link news reports of research to the research itself in an attempt to decipher which stories are sourced with verifiable research and which utilize papers with unsound methodologies.

Attending any one of these workshops can help you sift through the massive amounts of ambiguous information available on the internet everyday. Attending the workshop as a series will give you nuanced insight into the different types of unreliable information out there and provide you with tools to think critically and avoid consuming that misinformation.

sw781_fall2016

Penn and the Surrounding Community

On the edges of the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom, located just down the hall from the Weigle Information Commons,  an exhibit about the edges of Penn’s presence in West Philadelphia runs until Friday, February 24, 2017. Penn and the Surrounding Community is a collection of work by Dr. Rosemary Frasso‘s students from the SW781/PUBH604 class entitled Qualitative Research in Social Work and Public Health. This semester’s exhibit focuses on how undergraduate and graduate students here at Penn conceptualize the University’s impact on its urban setting.

Nominal Group Technique (NGT) (in which members of a group name, then rank items) was used to determine the topic of exploration for the class research study. Briefly, Dr. Frasso moderated a session where in the students suggested potential topic ideas, then ranked those ideas. The topic of Penn and the Surrounding Community was collectively chosen as the central theme for investigation.

First, the students collected free-listing data. Each of the 25 students in the class recruited 5 participants (total of 125 people) from the Penn community and asked them to share the words that come to mind when they think about Penn’s relationship with the surrounding community. These data (words generated) were then analyzed to determine the salient domains.

Then each student recruited one additional participant to take part in the Photo-elicitation arm of the study. Briefly, each participant was asked to think about Penn’s relationship with the surrounding community and using their camera or smartphone to take photos that would help them explain their impression of this relationship. The photos were then used to guide a qualitative interview. All interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim and analyzed in the Collaborative Classroom.

The preliminary analysis yielded 10 thematic categories: Benefits, Safety, Permeability, Double-Edged Sword, Accessibility, Responsibility, Exclusivity, Bubble, Boundary, and Penntrification. Within these broad categorizations, representative photos and their accompanying captions were chosen for exhibition. The finished product will ultimately include an abstract for presentation as well as a manuscript for publication in addition to these preliminary findings currently on exhibit. The project can be viewed on the Scholarly Commons’ New Media Showcase.

The photos and quotes paint a complicated picture of how students perceive Penn’s relationship with the West Philadelphia community. The work highlights both the beneficial nature and drawbacks that are byproducts of Penn’s presence in West Philly, best described as a “double-edged sword.” For thought provoking insights like these, the exhibit is an enlightening and self-reflective project that is well worth the visit. Research rigor and critical social immersion blend to demonstrate the strengths of research in Public Health and Social Work.

 

Come in soon! This place gets hot!

So sing the undergraduate students in our Weigle Music Video (vintage 2007).

Explore the excitement at our Faculty Open House on Wednesday, December 9, 3:30 to 5 pm. Please RSVP here.

Our new Got Answers? page has a preview – click the question below to explore:

software

Come to the Weigle Information Commons and Collaborative Classroom on the first floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Join us for fun activities (iPads, videos, comic books), light refreshments, friendly library colleagues and program partners from around campus.

Ed Tech 2020: Register now!

Symposium 2015 LogoWe welcome you to register now for the 2015 Engaging Students Through Technology Symposium! Our earlier request brought us four great brainstorming sessions. This year’s theme looks forward with the guiding question:

Ed Tech 2020: What will learning look like?

We start the day with our faculty panel and lightning round presentations. After an informal lunch in the Weigle Information Commons, we offer discussion sessions and workshops. The day concludes with our undergraduate student panel and a reception.

2015 Video Contest Winners!

We congratulate the winners of the 2015 Video Contest: What Does Healthy Look Like?

  • First prize: Will Always Be Loved by Courtney Dabney
  • Second Prize:  Making Sense of Happiness by Meredith Stern
  • Third Prize: 8-Bit Distracted by Ivan Moutinho
  • Popular Choice Award: Outbreaks in Film by Lauren Drinkard

View the winners online.

We thank our judging panel of faculty, staff, students and alumni, and the many faculty who encouraged their students to participate in our annual contest!

Vote Healthy!

What does Healthy look like?
What does Healthy look like?

We received great entries for our What Does Healthy Look Like? video contest. We welcome all to vote for their favorite video entry from our seven contenders; voting closes on May 28. Thank you for supporting our student video creators! Award winners selected by our judging committee (which includes faculty, students, alumni and staff) and our popular choice award will be announced in early June. Our entries are:

  • Public Health at Penn
  • Immune Checkpoint Blockade: Ipilimumab and the CTLA-4 Receptor
  • 8-Bit Distracted
  • Sleep? I Think I Can Pencil That In?
  • Making Sense of Happiness
  • Outbreaks in Film
  • Will Always Be Loved

Which is your favorite?