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Automated Identification of Terminological Dissonance in IT and Adjacent Fields

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Emerging Computing and Information Technologies II

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.272.1 - 26.272.22



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Paper Authors


Jessica Richards BYU

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Graduate student in Information Technology with a background of interdisciplinary work between computing and media fields. Highly interested in streamlining the collaborating of technical and creative minds.

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Joseph J Ekstrom Brigham Young University

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Dr. Ekstrom spent more than 30 years in industry as a software developer, technical manager, and entrepreneur. In 2001 he helped initiate the IT program at BYU. He was the Program Chair of the Information Technology program from 2007-2013. His research interests include network and systems management, distributed computing, system modeling and architecture, system development, Cyber security and IT curriculum development.

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Automated  Identi-ication  of  Terminological  Dissonance  in  IT  and  adjacent  -ieldsJessica  Richards;  Owen  Riley;  Joseph  Ekstrom;  Kevin  TewABSTRACTInformation  Technology  often  >ills  the  role  of  tool  supplier  to  other  disciplines.  This  role  necessitates  that  IT  academics  and  professionals  perform  constant  interdisciplinary  communication.  Semantic  “dissonance”,  in  the  forms  of  synonymy  and  polysemy,  is  frequently  encountered  between  participants  in  related  meetings  and  discussions.  This  dissonance  often  causes  severe  miscommunications  that  can  result  in  project  meltdowns.  Unfortunately,  semantic  dissonance  is  a  topic  not  typically  discussed  in  IT  until  a  crisis  situation  occurs.  Semantic  dissonance  and  "terminology  management"  should  be  addressed  in  IT  curriculum,  workplace  training,  and  should  also  be  an  area  of  development  in  IT  tools.  In  order  to  >ill  this  need,  we  developed  the  Termediator  software.  Termediator  is  an  application  that  preemptively  identi>ies  potential  terminological  dissonance  from  a  dataset  of  over  50,000  terms  pulled  from  18  related  disciplines.  This  multifaceted  tool  integrates  similarity  measures  for  synonymy  with  topic  modeling  and  clustering  for  polysemy.  The  professional  use  of  Termediator  centers  on  communicative  mediation  and  training  for  collaborative  projects  (both  inter-­‐  and  intradisciplinary)  and  telecommuting  work  situations.  Termediator  also  has  a  distinct  role  in  IT  education,  where  it  is  imperative  to  include  pedagogy  that  sensitizes  students  to  the  potential  for  misunderstanding  because  of  semantic  differences  in  commonly  used  terms.

Richards, J., & Ekstrom, J. J. (2015, June), Automated Identification of Terminological Dissonance in IT and Adjacent Fields Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23611

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