Tag Archives: research

Make Your Data Analysis Shine: Prism 6


Hello, there! My name is Claire Witherel and I’m a new Intern at the Weigle Information Commons. I’m currently a PhD student at Drexel University studying Biomedical Engineering with research focused in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. As a professional student (I mean, I’ve been in college for almost 10 years now!), I know how frustrating it can be to know the right tool to use for your homework, research, or work, but the learning curve will just take too much time to get the job done. This is where I can help. I absolutely love to assist students in finding useful research tools that make their work shine and guide them through the nitty gritty parts of mastering a new tool.
Continue reading Make Your Data Analysis Shine: Prism 6

Research Teas at Van Pelt Library


This fall, we are organizing a series called Research Teas that are meant to be open forums for students, both undergraduate and graduate, to discuss their research. Each of the six sessions this semester will have a topic to ground our discussions (see below), but participants are welcome to discuss their own research regardless of that month’s topic. Tea and cookies will be served!

We hope that this forum provides an opportunity for students to share ideas about research across disciplines and interests. Sessions will be held from 4 to 5:30pm in the Collaborative Classroom, and you can register by clicking the links below. We hope to see you on Wednesdays this fall!

September 23 – Personal Voice: Letters and Diaries

October 7 – The Week that Was: Historical Newspapers and Magazines

October 21 – Historical Geography: Discovering, Using, and Making Maps

November 4 – From Millions of Books: Making and Manipulating a Corpus

November 18 – Worth a Thousand Words: Working with Photographs and Images

December 2 – Picturing the Past and Present: Political cartoons, comics, and graphic novels

Fear and Safety at Penn: A Collaborative Student Research Exhibit

Dr. Rosemary Frasso, Jesse Golinkoff (TA) and graduate student research team – Qualitative Research Methods for Social Work (SW 781)

Research seldom happens in silos.  Be it through the literature review, data collection, or publication, group collaboration is the ingredient that brings new ideas and perspectives to the research process.  It is with this spirit that Dr. Rosemary Frasso (Rosie), Jesse Golinkoff (TA), and the student researchers of the Qualitative Methods graduate course for Social Work and Public Health students took teamwork to new heights this spring in the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom.

From the start, the student researchers employed qualitative methods (Nominal Group Technique) to collectively determine the research topic of “fear and safety” at Penn. Next, each individual student-researcher conducted 5 intercept Freelisting interviews across campus to explore the topic. Using the full 360 degrees of writable whiteboard surfaces in the Collaborative Classroom, students began the process of analyzing Freelisting data to identify salient themes.

Student researchers begin organizing Freelisting data in the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom

Inspired by the work of Drs. Carolyn Cannuscio, Mariana Chilton, and Gala True, Rosie designed this class project employing Photo Elicitation interviewing.  Students later made use of this same technique to further explore the meaning of fear and safety across the Penn community.  As a team, the class selected a sampling strategy and each student-researcher was tasked with recruiting a participant from within the Penn community to explore how she/he perceives fear and safety.  Over the course of one week, research participants used their smartphones or cameras to take photographs of any aspects of their daily lives that made them think of fear or safety.  The photos were then used to guide an interview between the researcher and the participant about those topics.

Dr. Frasso turned to group collaboration in the Collaborative Classroom as a strategy to help the student researchers make sense of the sizable amount of data they all collected.    Through collaborative analysis, student researchers found that their participants’ views on fear and safety revolved around eight thematic categories: vulnerability; sense of belonging; fear of failure; surveillance; physical and mental health; fear of the unknown; sources of comfort; and spaces and places.

The student researchers of Dr. Frasso’s class see their research findings as a potential catalyst for change at Penn.  To this end, they have made their work visible in many ways.  You can view their research exhibit, complete with photos and participant quotes, just outside the Van Pelt Collaborative Classroom (right before the WIC entrance, to the right).  Students also plan to share their findings with key members of the Penn community such as President Amy Gutmann, CAPS, and GAPSA.

For more information on displaying your students’ work or using Van Pelt’s Collaborative Classroom for enhanced teamwork and engagement, visit: http://www.library.upenn.edu/facilities/collab.html.


Senior Research Spotlight

The gong will strictly enforce the two-minute time limit!

Event canceled – please check back for similar events in the future

Are you a graduating senior? Have you been working hard on a senior thesis or project lately? Does your project involve new media? Can you talk fast?

If all of the above apply to you, we welcome you to submit a proposal for our Senior Research Spotlight. Together with co-sponsors CURF, CWiC, and Weingarten Learning Resources Center (VPUL), we invite twenty graduating seniors in any of the four undergraduate schools at Penn to share their work that involves new media (audio, video, image collections, software, 3D printing…) in a collegial atmosphere in front of peers, faculty, librarians, and administrators from around campus.

Presentations will consist of two-minute lightning talks, with time strictly enforced by the gong pictured above! The event will take place on Thursday, April 29, 2015, at 3pm in the Class of 1978 Pavilion, Kislak Center, 6th Floor of Van Pelt Library. The room will be set up theater-style, and students will stand at the front podium to deliver their talks.

For more details, please see the event website. If you are interested in participating, submit a registration form by Friday, April 24, 2015, by 5 pm. To consider your submission, all we need by April 24 is the registration form. If you’d like to attend the event, please register here.  We hope you’ll join us on April 29th!

CURF 2012 Showcase

Each year, the Center for Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (CURF) hosts Undergraduate Research Symposiums, where students’ exemplary work is showcased.  We highlighted the February 2012 posters back in May, and we’re excited to add three new posters to our Student Work Showcase from the September 2012 CURF Symposium.

Madeleine Stevens and her poster, “Is Feminism Still Relevant?”

The 2012 CURF posters selected exemplify high competence in visual literacy and attention to graphic design.  Check out our Flickr site to see many other notable designs from February and September.  We look forward to seeing what exciting research the CURF students display in 2013!

Make Your Life Easier with a Citation Manager

By this point in the semester, you’ve probably got a Downloads folder full of PDFs, a pile of articles sitting in your printer, and maybe even a stack of books on your desk for good measure. No big deal, right? Sure, maybe you’re one of those robots who can wrangle all of that information and still find time to fold your towels:

But for those of us who are humans, the Penn Libraries Guides site has a new page all about your options for using a tech tool to organize and manage your citations: http://guides.library.upenn.edu/citationmgmt. Get information on RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley, and see if one of these can help you keep things together and create bibliographies in a snap.

Want to talk to a human about citations? Our guide also lists contact info for our librarian experts on each of the tools. Or you can drop by my Mendeley Office Hours on 12/3, or stop by the Citation Clinics any day this week or next from 4-5pm in the Van Pelt Reference Area:

Study Like It’s 1999

Today in WIC, a few of us worked with a student who was encountering a new-to-us problem on her PC. She had borrowed a CD-ROM from the Penn Libraries collection with 30+ volumes of medieval Arabic texts – a VERY cool resource, but one that was created in 1999, back when Windows 7 was still just a twinkle in Microsoft’s eye.

image of windows 95 hanging with the mona lisa, as it should be
Image from Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/5619001/happy-15th-birthday-to-windows-95-the-ugly-duckling-that-conquered-your-desktop.

The CD-ROM specified that it would work best on a system running Windows 95, 98 or 2000 (what, no Millennium Edition?!). When we tried to run it on a Windows 7 machine, the program would either stop responding, or would start to install and get hung up at a very frustrating 53%.

After a quick Google search, we discovered a Microsoft help page on running older programs in a newer version of Windows. Turns out that Windows 7 comes with a  Program Compatibility Troubleshooter that helps you set up certain applications to run in a compatibility mode that mimics older versions of Windows. We just had to click through the tool and tell it to run in Windows 95 mode, and we were able to open the application! Now, conquering those 30+ texts for her dissertation research…I’ll leave that one up to the student.