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#EngineersWeek: Broadening our Understanding of Community Engagement Through Analysis of Twitter Use During the National Engineers Week

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Engineering Engagement with Community

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29652

Download Count

46

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Paper Authors

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Aqdas Malik George Mason University

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Aqdas Malik is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Information Sciences and Technology, George Mason University. His multidisciplinary academic and industry experience spans two key disciplines: Human-Computer Interaction and Social Media Communication and Analytics. He is currently engaged in a number of research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In some of his recent projects he has applied big data techniques and tools to investigate the role of social media in engaging public and under-represented communities towards STEM education and informal learning.

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Aditya Johri George Mason University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9018-7574

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Aditya Johri is Associate Professor in the department of Information Sciences & Technology. Dr. Johri studies the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for learning and knowledge sharing, with a focus on cognition in informal environments. He also examine the role of ICT in supporting distributed work among globally dispersed workers and in furthering social development in emerging economies. He received the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Early Career Award in 2009. He is co-editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research (CHEER) published by Cambridge University Press, New York, NY. Dr. Johri earned his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Technology Design at Stanford University and a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at Delhi College of Engineering.

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Habib Karbasian George Mason University

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Habib Karbasian is a PhD student at the Department of Information Sciences and Technology, George Mason University. He obtained his BSc in software engineering and MSc in artificial intelligence from University of Tehran. His research interests span from online social network data mining, reinforcement learning, evolutionary optimization and big data. His thesis is focused on online social engagement analysis in hashtag campaigns where he investigates the factors affecting retweetability and information diffusion in such contexts.

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Rajat Handa

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Graduate Student in Data Analytics Engineering at George Mason University with an interest in Machine Learning, NLP and social media analytics.

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Hemant Purohit George Mason University

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Dr. Purohit is an assistant professor in the department of Information Sciences and Technology at George Mason University, USA. His research interest is to study human behavior from the unstructured Web data via an interdisciplinary approach of Computer and Psychological Sciences using social computing and natural language understanding methods.

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Abstract

Community engagement efforts have become an important avenue for raising public interest and know-how related to engineering. These efforts draw the young and the diverse into seeing engineering as a worthwhile profession. One such effort at the national level in the U.S. is the “National Engineers Week”. This is a week-long celebration held every February that consists of numerous events and activities organized for the general public with a focus towards students, women, and under-represented groups. In this paper, we examined this effort through the lens of social media and analyzed Twitter data collected for two hashtags used during the National Engineers Week 2017: “#eweek2017” and “#engineersweek”. Our dataset consisted of 6,583 original tweets and 10,885 retweets. To study the impact of the outreach we used three analytical approaches: descriptive analysis, content analysis, and network analysis. We found that the Twitter campaign participation was dominated by engineering companies and individual users followed by a limited participation of educational institutions, professional engineering associations, and non-profits. As opposed to other popular hashtag campaigns, not a single news media organization was identified as a participating user signaling a lower new media-driven propagation of the campaign among the public. From a content perspective, the tweets can be categorized as event promotion, showcasing employees of engineering companies, or encouraging and inspiring public (especially women and children) towards engineering. With the growing popularity of social media, community engagement efforts need to strategically leverage hashtags and other media elements for a broader impact.

Malik, A., & Johri, A., & Karbasian, H., & Handa, R., & Purohit, H. (2018, June), #EngineersWeek: Broadening our Understanding of Community Engagement Through Analysis of Twitter Use During the National Engineers Week Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29652

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