June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Computing & Information Technology
23.1053.1 - 23.1053.10
Scaffolding Beginning Research Students Using Open Source ToolsRecently there has been an explosive growth in the number of academic research conferences,and both open access and subscription-based online journals. As a related development, there isan increased thrust in engaging undergraduate students in research across all universities andcolleges. Beginning student researchers in general and undergraduate students in particular haveless developed knowledge base and technical expertise in their domains. Also, undergraduatestudents have very limited time for research given their course loads and non-academic activities.In disciplines like biology and chemistry, typically students are given well-defined,experiment/simulation-driven research problems. On the other hand, in fast advancing disciplinessuch as computer science and information technology, students need to spend substantial efforteven to identify important and significant problems to work on. The above conditions createspecial challenges for carrying out tangible and significant research under time-constrainedconditions. Academic research is a multi-step process. It involves the following generic steps: (1)identifying a problem, (2) developing a solution and executing it, (3) analyzing and interpretingthe results, (4) preparing research papers and submitting them to conferences and journals, and(5) poster and oral presentations at conferences. Especially identifying a research problem is avery difficult task given the current information deluge. In this paper, we describe and illustrate how we have used various open source tools tosupport each of the steps in the academic research process (except step 2). More specifically, wediscuss tools for quickly discovering concepts to obtain unified view of a domain, automaticallyproducing summaries of research papers and grouping research papers into categories, semi-manual bibliography management, outlining and writing of papers, and professional qualitypresentations. Tools and libraries we discuss include openNLP, NLTK, Tika, R, ggplot2, textmining (tm) package of R, Wordle, bibdesk, BibTEX, and LATEX.
Rao, D., & Agrawal, R. K., & Gudivada, V. N. (2013, June), Scaffolding Beginning Research Students Using Open Source Tools Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22438
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