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Assessing the Effects of Master Slave Terminology on Inclusivity in Engineering Education

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Conference

2021 CoNECD

Location

Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day

Publication Date

January 24, 2021

Start Date

January 24, 2021

End Date

January 28, 2021

Conference Session

CoNECD Session : Day 2 Slot 5 Technical Session 3

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Submissions

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36069

Download Count

132

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Paper Authors

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Andrew Danowitz California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4842-2005

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Andrew Danowitz received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 2014, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Computer Engineering at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. His engineering education interests include student mental health, retention, and motivation.

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Amman Fasil Asfaw California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

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Amman is a 4th year electrical engineering student studying at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo striving to create a legacy of respect, integrity, and commitment through servant leadership.

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Bridget Benson California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Bridget Benson received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obipso in 2005, a Master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2007 and a PhD degree in the Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California San Diego in 2010. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obipso. Her research interests span engineering education, embedded systems, and ecological monitoring.

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Paul Hummel California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0141-8156

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Paul Hummel is a lecturer in the Electrical Engineering department at California Polytechnic State University. He has a BS in Engineering with a Computer concentration from LeTourneau University and a PhD in Engineering with an emphasis on Microelectronics from Louisiana Tech University. His current activities focus on project based learning and online student assessment.

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K. Clay McKell California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6027-0641

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Clay McKell earned his B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in mechanical engineering from UCLA in 2006. He earned his M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from UCLA in 2007. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2018. He currently serves as a lecturer in the Electrical Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. His research interests include distributed control of multi-agent networks, applications of game theory to solve decentralized optimal decision-making, as well as STEM education practices that foster diversity and equity.

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Abstract

As engineering programs strive to recruit and retain increasingly diverse student bodies, they often struggle to create an environment where students from historically excluded identities can thrive. While many universities have implemented interventions, training programs, and other mechanisms to reduce micro-aggressions and foster the creation of a more welcoming environment, to our knowledge, little research has been conducted on how common technical jargon of engineering can influence feelings of inclusion and acceptance among a diverse engineering student population.

This paper reports specifically on student reactions to the “master-slave” terminology in the classroom, and the self-reported impacts of these terms on students’ sense of community and belonging in engineering education. We find that 27% of students surveyed either agree or strongly agree that use of master-slave terminology is problematic, including 100% of Female and 100% of African American students, and that the use of the terminology may create conditions to evoke Stereotype Threat.

Danowitz, A., & Asfaw, A. F., & Benson, B., & Hummel, P., & McKell, K. C. (2021, January), Assessing the Effects of Master Slave Terminology on Inclusivity in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2021 CoNECD, Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day . https://peer.asee.org/36069

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