Information Theses and Dissertations

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    The Effect of an Integrated Knowledge Management Architecture on Organizational Performance and Impact: The Case of the World Bank
    (2003) Fonseca, Ana Flavia; Soergel, Dagobert; Information Studies; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
    Using the World Bank as Case Study, this dissertation investigates the impact of knowledge management programs on the organization performance by using a combination of three methods: Records Analysis, Interviews and Outcome Mapping. The study had two phases: quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis. The Knowledge Management Program of the World Bank has had a direct and beneficial impact on its operations. The Program changed internal staff behavior, improved the sharing of information and knowledge within the organization, and promoted the design and application of participatory knowledge strategies in the countries. New knowledge products as well as strong country participation and ownership to the projects studied resulted from these changes. However, the study also shows that this impact is far from being sufficiently significant to influence or help make the knowledge management program fully integrated with the organization core processes and products. The gap between the KM Program architecture and other programs and initiatives focusing on making this concept operational within the Bank remains an issue. In spite of the fact that knowledge management principles are being mainstreamed in core services, the difference is still very wide between the overall goals of the Knowledge Bank and their translation into the implementation of knowledge products and services in the countries. The research did confirm previous research in the field of knowledge management and validated the findings from other case studies. The results of the study also allowed for the identification of 10 criteria for mainstreaming knowledge management programs within organizations and identified characteristics of knowledge delivery processes that were effective for knowledge absorption . . The importance of "how to" and "procedural knowledge"; the importance "horizontal knowledge exchanges" and a number of other elements, were confirmed as factors affecting knowledge absorption and positive changes in user behavior.
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    “But Hold Me Fast and Fear Me Not” Comparing Gender Roles in the Ballad Tam Lin and Medieval and Renaissance Scotland.
    (2023) Conant, Charlotte; Bianchini, \Janna; History/Library & Information Systems; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Tam Lin, a medieval Scottish Ballad tells the story of an unusually forceful young Lady Janet. Janet does many of the feats of strength in her story, defies her father, refuses to behave as a ‘good Christian woman’ might and suffers no consequences for her actions. She ends her story successfully married to a noble Christian man, having saved him from the evil pagan Fairy Queen. This ballad has been popular for centuries, and has been cited as a ballad unique to Scotland that represents Scottish culture. The ballad contains ideas that one might think contradictory to the ideas of a medieval Christian society, yet the ballad was so popular it had a ballet (now lost) and has survived for at least four hundred years. This dissertation examines the differences and similarities between the lack of consequences Janet suffers and what real women in Scotland from the Medieval Ages to the Early Modern period would have experienced. It also will delve into the various cultural groups that contributed to the ‘Scottish Nature’ of the ballad. Stories are told by humans all across the world, a ballad, likely sung in a group, in order to continue being told, must not go against the inherent social rules of the people performing it, or else act as a cautionary tale. However, since Janet does not end her story suffering, Tam Lin is not meant to be a cautionary tale. Why then, was this ballad, that might appear to be so contradictory to the society that was telling it, have managed to survive (and be so popular) to the current day and age.
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    Virtual Library Events Catered Towards Teens: Surveying Event Wants and Ideas in Order to Increase Engagement in the Fairfax County, VA Library System
    (2023) Bowman, Melissa June; Sturge, Jennifer; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    During the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020, many public libraries systems turned to virtual programming to increase engagement during the time of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Three years out of the pandemic, many libraries have scaled back the virtual programming catalog, focusing instead on in-person events. In the Fairfax County, Virginia Public Libraries System, a programming gap existed in the virtual events catered towards teens. This thesis uses interviews with Fairfax County Public Libraries staff and a survey of local teens to discern what kind of virtual programming teens attend; and what virtual events teens would like to see in the future. Library Staff indicated that virtual events were scaled back in favor of in-person events to increase engagement with the other library services. Teens surveyed stated that while in-person events were often attended, there was a need for more virtual events. The conclusion from the interviews and from the survey results indicate that library systems do not need to come up with a specific “virtual only” programming, but rather find a balance of in-person and virtual programming, perhaps by streaming in-person events, to meet the wants and needs of the teen users.
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    “WHAT PERSONS, MASCULINE OR FEMININE”: EXAMINATIONS OF IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION AND QUEER POTENTIALITIES IN WESTERN MEDIEVAL EUROPE
    (2023) Taylor, Erin; Bianchini, Janna; History/Library & Information Systems; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    In this thesis, I argue that medieval people in Latin Europe had complex, overlapping identities and experiences of gender and sexuality that developed in their specific temporal and geographical contexts. The internal understandings of identities and the external expressions and interpretations of such identities are sites of historical possibility—and sources of potential inter-and intra-personal conflicts Medieval writings like Le Roman de Silence demonstrate how these identities could be constructed and expressed for literary and rhetorical purposes. Extant court cases, including those of John/Eleanor Rykener, Vitoria of Lisbon, and Katherina Hetzeldorfer, demonstrate the complexity of lived experiences of identity, and how deviation from accepted community and cultural norms could prove dangerous. It is impossible to assert such identities of gender and sexuality for historical figures of the medieval era with complete certainty, but the exploration of these identities is necessary for a fuller understanding and representation of the period and the people who lived throughout it.
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    MULTISCALE, MULTITEMPORAL ASSESSMENT OF CHIMPANZEE (Pan troglodytes) HABITAT USING REMOTELY SENSED DATASETS
    (2023) Jantz, Samuel M; Hansen, Matthew C; Geography/Library & Information Systems; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    All four sub-species of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and their populations continue to decline due to human activities. Effective conservation efforts require information on their population status and distribution. Traditional field surveys are expensive and impractical for covering large areas at regular time intervals, making it difficult to track population trends. Given that chimpanzees occupy a large range (2.3 x 106 km2), new cost-effective methods and data are needed to provide relevant information on population status and trends across large geographic and time scales. The objective of this dissertation is to help fill this gap by leveraging freely available and regularly updated remotely sensed datasets to map and monitor chimpanzee habitat across their range. This research begins by first producing annual forest cover and change maps for the Greater Gombe (GGE) and Greater Mahale ecosystems (GME) in western Tanzania using Landsat phenological metrics and machine learning methods. Canopy cover was predicted at 30-meter resolution and the Cumulative Sums (CuSum) algorithm was applied to the canopy cover time series to detect forest loss and gain events between 2000-2020. An accuracy assessment showed the CuSum algorithm was able to detect forest loss well but had more difficulty detecting gradual forest gain events. A total of 276,000 ha (+/- 27,000 ha) of gross forest loss was detected between 2000 and 2020 in the GGE and GME; however, loss was not spread equally among the two ecosystems. The results show widespread forest loss in the GME, contrasted with net forest cover gain in the GGE. Next, the annual forest cover maps, and additional derived variables, were used to train an ensemble model to predict the relative encounter rate of chimpanzee nest sightings in the GGE and GME. Model output exhibited a strong linear relationship to chimpanzee abundances and population density estimated from a recent ground survey, enabling model output to be linearly transformed into population estimates. The model predicted the two ecosystems harbor just over 3,000 individuals, which agrees with the upper limit of population estimates from ground surveys. Most importantly, the model can be applied to annually updated variables enabling the detection of potential population shifts caused by changes in landscape condition. Model output indicates a possible population reduction in portions of the GME, while the GGE is predicted to have increased its ability to sustain a larger population. Finally, Random Forests regression was used to relate predictor variables, primarily derived from Landsat data to a coarse resolution, range-wide habitat suitability map enabling the prediction of habitat suitability at 30 meter resolution. The model showed good agreement with the calibration data; however, there was considerable variation in predictive capability among the four chimpanzee sub-species. Elevation, Landsat ETM+ band 5 and Landsat derived canopy cover were the strongest predictors; highly suitable areas were associated with dense tree canopy cover for all but the Nigeria-Cameroon and Central Chimpanzee sub-species. The model can detect changes in suitability to support monitoring and conservation planning across the chimpanzee range. Results from this dissertation highlight the promise of integrating continuously updated satellite data into habitat suitability models to detect changes through time and inform conservation efforts for chimpanzees at multiple scales.
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    Exploring Changes in Communication between Native English Speakers (NES) and Non-native English Speakers (NNES) with the Aid of Facial Expression Recognition Feedback in Group Videoconferencing
    (2023) Yang, Jialun; Lee, Heera; Master in Information Management; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    One of the frequent communication challenges in group meetings between native English speakers (NES) and non-native English speakers (NNES) is confusion experienced by the NNES while communicating in English with the NES. To address this, I proposed integrating a facial expression recognition tool with a video conferencing platform to help NES enhance their ability to identify NNES’ confused moments and promote effective communication with NNES. The study was conducted on a video conferencing platform to investigate how precisely the NES and the facial expression recognition tool identify the confused moments of the NNES in comparison with the self-report of the NNES. Furthermore, this study explored the impact of such identification on how the NES adjusted their communication approach when interacting with the NNES in subsequent group meetings. The findings revealed that the self-reports of NNES played a significant role over the facial expression recognition tool, enabling the NES to better perceive the confused moments of the NNES. As a result, the NES gained a better understanding of the NNES and improved their ability to communicate effectively during the meeting. Although using the facial expression recognition tool to detect the NNES’ confusion during the meeting was underestimated by the NES in this study, it provided me a valuable opportunity to investigate the context of how NNES, NES, and the tool identify the confused moments of the NNES. This highlighted the importance of considering the NNES’ self-reports and their facial expressions within the context to improve the current facial expression recognition tool.
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    Stable Science and Fickle Bodies: An Examination of Trust and the Construction of Expertise on r/SkincareAddiction
    (2023) DeCusatis, Cara Maria; Sauter, M.R.; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    While there is considerable research on the topic of trust when it comes to health information or news media, there is less work examining how trust and expertise are conceptualized for information that may straddle both subjective and objective approaches to knowledge. In this thesis, I use the subreddit r/SkincareAddiction as a field site to examine how users construct skincare expertise and position skincare expertise in relation to formalized bioscience and experiential knowledge. Building on Science and Technology Studies’ theories of lay expertise and embodiment, I investigate how users interpret, share, and enact skincare and subreddit competence, discern trustworthy information, and negotiate the boundaries of science. Through a grounded theory analysis of subreddit posts and comments, I argue that r/SkincareAddiction users engage in forms of boundary work to preserve the expertise of medical professionals and the perceived infallibility of science. I argue that such delineations both uphold formalized systems of expertise and make space for alternative, community-specific forms of skincare expertise. This community-specific expertise is reified through community norms and agreed upon beliefs, such as the understanding that “your mileage may vary” and “everyone’s skin is different”. I situate these community beliefs within feminist understandings of embodied knowledge and argue that these beliefs are what afford users participation in “expert” conversations from which they might otherwise be excluded.
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    STICKERS CONVEYING YOUTH INTERESTS: HOW YOUTH USE STICKERS FOR MEANING MAKING
    (2023) Pauw, Daniel; Clegg, Tamara; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    While mobile technology has supported and enabled both formal and informal learning, there remain difficulties connecting learners’ interests to places-based learning contexts. Place-based and affinity space learning frameworks are useful for understanding and scaffolding learning. Place-based learning looks at ways aspects of the local context/geographical context (e.g., plants, animals, stores, houses, etc.) can shape learning. Affinity spaces, as a learning theory, focuses on the interests and passion that motivate learners and communities. Bridging the interests from affinity spaces with the knowledge from lived environments can help scaffold learners to help them connect their learning to new contexts. Being able to connect learning in new contexts is an important step that currently is not thoroughly described between online interest spaces and place-based learning environments. Technological affordances of mobile technologies (e.g., cameras, apps, GPS, etc.) can provide tools to bridge gaps between learners’ interests and lived environments. For example, the always on connection mobile phones have to the internet allows people to bring their interest communities to new places (e.g., telepresence robots). New technologies thus have great potential for connecting these interest and place-based aspects of children’s lives to learning. My dissertation study explores how to help learners connect their interest-driven learning to everyday place-based learning using technology. An important aspect of this connection centers on how to effectively encourage new lines of communication between learning communities. The specific technology I used to encourage the development of learning communication is digital stickers. Digital stickers, much like their analog counterparts, are used by learners to communicate interests and, importantly, emotion with images. Unlike emoji or badges, stickers have the added affordance of allowing learners to collectively edit or contribute to a single image rather than being a more standard time-based conversation log. Placement, theme, recipient, and other factors provide the technology with the ability to impact and communicate emotional ties and potentially influence more enduring connections between place, interest, and learners. My dissertation specifically looks at (1) how members of the Science Everywhere informal learning community currently connect place and interest and (2) how the affordances and constraints of digital stickers impact usage of these stickers with respect to connecting and communicating learning interests. Analysis of this data examined factors that impact design of digital stickers or potential similar technologies when connecting interests from affinity spaces to place-based learning environments.
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    Exploring remote service provision in adult day centers during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (2023) Marte, Crystal; Lazar, Amanda; Vanderheiden, Gregg; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly impacted the long-term services and supports (LTSS) sector, necessitating a rapid shift from in-person services to remote. Adult day service centers (ADSCs) – a type of LTSS – offer in-person community-based programs comprised of health and wellness services to historically underserved populations, such as communities of color, low-income, and older adults. Based on data collected from 23 semi-structured interviews with 22 providers from eight ADSCs across a Mid-Atlantic state, this thesis explores the experiences of ADSC providers – such as directors, activity staff, and nurses – as they navigated pandemic-related closures. To ensure uninterrupted services, centers leveraged their existing infrastructure and adapted to a remote service model. An intricate interplay of technical (e.g., access to devices, internet) to non-technical (e.g., digital literacy, sociocultural context, limited staff) variables affected the overall success of remote services. Simultaneously, ADSCs grappled with limited reimbursement for remote services – which directly impacted their operations and the sustainability of remote services. These findings offer insights into the challenges and adaptations providers experienced amidst an unprecedented crisis, shedding light on the systemic issues throughout this period. The study seeks to inform future interventions that promote the sustainability of remote services in ADSCs, with a specific focus on preventing service disruptions for historically underserved populations.
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    UNDERSTANDING LEARNING AND SKETCHING EXPERIENCES OF CHILDREN INVOLVED IN STEM DESIGN
    (2023) Shokeen, Ekta; Williams-Pierce, Caro Dr.; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Sketching is considered a helpful activity in STEM design and education. Scholars have argued for including children in designing technology as it has been found to improve product design and leads to social and cognitive benefits for children. However, little is known about children’s learning and sketching experiences when participating in design activities. How do children sketch during design activities? How do children learn about sketching in design activities? What information do they share via their sketches? What information do they use for sketching? How do they use sketching in the overall design process? How do learning and sketching relate to STEM design? This three-paper dissertation uses empirical and theoretical approaches to address these questions. The first paper uses an ethnographic case study approach to qualitatively examine information-sharing practices and learning opportunities from children’s engagement in interest-driven sketching. Findings suggest that sketching can provide multiple learning opportunities to children. Also, it can be helpful to gather information about the broader contexts of children’s lives which can help identify their needs and improve the future design of technologies for children. The second paper presents a theoretical framework, Radical Constructivist Cooperative Inquiry (RCCI), for understanding children’s learning in design activities. Based on the theoretical synthesis of the cooperative inquiry design approach and the radical constructivist perspective of learning, RCCI establishes six pillars of learning in design. Finally, the paper discusses how these six pillars can be utilized in design activities to support children’s learning. The third paper is a secondary analysis of video data of children’s learning and sketching experiences in engineering design in their home environments. It focuses on examining the relationship between children’s sketching and learning following the RCCI framework with the thematic analysis method. Results suggest that sketching can engage children in learning about STEM skill sets. These three papers collectively contribute empirically and theoretically to building knowledge about improving and sustaining design cycles by children in STEM learning contexts.
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    TOWARDS AN ETHICAL IMPERATIVE: TRACKING THE REPARATIVE GROUNDSWELL IN VIRGINIA’S ACADEMIC LIBRARIES & ARCHIVES
    (2023) Hale, Martha Grace; Marsh, Diana; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This study aims to understand an uptick of interest in reparative information work in the field of library and information science using the lens of Virginia academic libraries (Jaeger et al., 2016; Poole et al., 2021). The researcher used a web based, self-administered survey instrument to sample memory workers in 101 institutions of higher learning from around Virgina in order to gather data on what kinds of restorative and social justice work is taking place in these institutions as well as regional attitudes towards those efforts. The results and discussion form a platform for the lived experience of memory professionals across a range of power differentials and seeks to understand what praxes assist or hinder these efforts.
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    Library and Information Science Research and Neurodiversity: So Much Potential if We'd Just Apply Ourselves
    (2023) Hoffman, Kelly M.; Jaeger, Paul T; St. Jean, Beth; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Neurodivergent people consistently face less optimal outcomes than neurotypical people in education, their careers, and other areas of life. Anecdotally, personal knowledge management (PKM) is a useful tool for neurodivergent individuals. However, there is sparse research involving the information practices of neurodivergent adults in the field of library andinformation science (LIS). A survey with both close-ended and open-ended questions, partially based on Dervin's Sense-Making Methodology (Dervin, 1992, 2000), was distributed online and received over 300 self-identifying neurodivergent participants. The results indicated that neurodivergent people use PKM most heavily in the Learning, Job, and Everyday domains for the purposes of Managing Tasks and Projects, Building Knowledge, Creating, and Self-Improvement. Common PKM activities engaged included Storing Information and Using It Later, Remembering What Needs to be Done, Understanding and Ideating, and Planning and Prioritizing. The most helpful benefits of PKM that were described were Connecting Ideas, Improving Thinking, and Having Fun. Overall, key themes regarding neurodivergent individuals’ PKM usage included Reducing Stress, Memory, and Externalizing. These findings provide a foundation for a much-needed LIS research agenda exploring the PKM practices of neurodivergent adults.
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    CYCLING AROUND THE CLOCK: MODELING BIKE SHARE TRIPS AS HIGH-FREQUENCY SPATIAL INTERACTIONS
    (2023) Liu, Zheng; Oshan, Taylor; Geography/Library & Information Systems; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Spatial interactions provide insights into urban mobility that reflects urban livability. A range of traditional and modern urban mobility models have been developed to analyze and model spatial interaction. The study of bike-sharing systems has emerged as a new area of research, offering expanded opportunities to understand the dynamics of spatial interaction processes. This dissertation proposes new methods and frameworks to model and understand the high-frequency changes in the spatial interaction of a bike share system. Three challenges related to the spatial and temporal dynamics of spatial interaction within a bike share system are discussed via three studies: 1) Predicting spatial interaction demand at new stations as part of system infrastructure expansion; 2) Understanding the dynamics of determinants in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; and 3) Detecting events that lead to changes in the spatial interaction process of bike share trips from a model-based proxy. The first study proposes a hybrid strategy to predict 'cold start' trips by comparing flow interpolation and spatial interaction methods. The study reveals 'cold start' stations with different classifications based on their locations have different best model choices as a hybrid strategy for the research question. The second study demonstrates a disaggregated comparative framework to capture the dynamics of determinants in bike share trip generation before, during, and after the COVID-19 lockdown and to identify long-term bike share usage behavioral changes. The third study investigates an event detection approach combining martingale test and spatial interaction model with specification evaluation from simulated data and explorative examination from bike share datasets in New York City, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. Results from the study recognize events from exogenous factors that induced changes in spatial interactions which are critical for model evaluation and improvement toward more flexible models to high-frequency changes. The dissertation elaborated and expanded the spatial interaction model to more effectively meet the research demands for the novel transportation mode of bike-share cycling in the context of a high-frequency urban environment. Taken as a whole, this dissertation contributes to the field of transportation geography and geographic information science and contributes methods toward the creation of improved transport systems for more livable cities.
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    WAITING ON “THE HIGHER LAW”: HENRY MASSEY AND THE STRUGGLE AGAINST PHILADELPHIA’S FUGITIVE SLAVE COURT
    (2023) LaRoche, Matthew David; Bonner, Christopher J; History/Library & Information Systems; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Philadelphia’s preeminence as an historical hub of Underground Railroad activity, popularized through the exploits of William Still, is well established. However, a series of archival gaps have virtually erased Philadelphia, and particularly the early years of its fugitive slave court, from the wider historiography of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. This work attempts to re-center Philadelphia, as well as its white-led abolitionist organizations and its African American community, in the scholarly discussion over the Act’s origin, intent, and effect. Attempting to overcome archival limitations, this work reconstructs the city’s first fugitive slave court, overseen by Commissioner Edward D. Ingraham from December of 1850 until his death in November of 1854, through the eyes of its participants. Using a close-reading approach, this thesis considers Philadelphia’s resistance to both the Ingraham court and the Act in toto from three perspectives. By comparing the case of Adam Gibson (the first victim of the Ingraham court) to that of Henry Massey, a Maryland freedomseeker and the last person sentenced before Ingraham’s death, this thesis establishes a documentary baseline through which one can trace the court’s evolution across the opening years of the Act’s enforcement. Through recreating the personal and institutional histories of Commissioner Ingraham, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, and the abolitionist lawyers who represented Gibson, Massey, and other freedomseekers, this thesis provides context to evaluate the legal, social, and religious moves made by the city’s elite in response to the Act’s passage. Finally, by drawing out indications of black organization and agency hidden within the internal records of the Abolition Society itself, this thesis attempts to delineate the practical limits of interracial abolitionist cooperation within Philadelphia at the time. Ultimately, this thesis finds that a combination of geographic pressures and ideological guardrails particular to Philadelphia prevented a stronghold of abolitionist outrage from forming an effective counter to the Act, even while comparable cities (Boston, Syracuse, Harrisburg) developed legal and illegal strategies for shutting down their resident fugitive slave courts.
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    Improving Selection of Analogical Inspirations with Chunking and Recombination
    (2023) Srinivasan, Arvind; Chan, Joel; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Innovation is vital in various fields, and analogical thinking is a powerful tool for gen- erating creative solutions to complex problems. However, recognizing analogies can be time- consuming, and successful recognition doesn’t guarantee their adoption in innovation. In this thesis, A novel computational support system for analogical innovation is proposed that employs the cognitive mechanisms for chunking and recombination as mediums of interaction. Chunking involves identifying and extracting meaningful chunks or segments from a design problem into interactive tiles called magnets while recombination involves combining these magnets to gener- ate insightful questions that elicit divergent thinking. In this way, the proposed system aims to streamline the process of recognizing and selecting analogical inspirations for innovation while avoiding premature rejection and design fixation.To evaluate the effectiveness of the system, a within-subjects study involving 23 participants was conducted, comparing the proposed interface with a baseline. The study found that using chunking and recombination as interactive mechanisms helped prevent premature rejection of useful analogical leads, resulting in 4 times fewer ignored analogical leads. Participants were also found to make 12 times fewer changes to their decisions, given a minor increment in processing time in the order of 1.5 minutes. Overall, these results suggest that our proposed intervention is an effective tool for facilitating the selection of beneficial analogies, fostering analogical innovation through computational support.
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    A BAROMETER OF SCIENTIFIC CULTURE: THE DEBATED ROLE OF AMERICAN SCIENCE AT THE 1850’S SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
    (2023) Buser, Allison; Woods, Colleen; History/Library & Information Systems; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    During the initial decade of the Smithsonian Institution’s existence, its first secretary, Joseph Henry, sought to establish an institution for the advancement of science that defied popular understandings of scientific work in the United States. From the end of the eighteenth century and into the nineteenth century, American science was infused with republican ideology and was widely expected to prioritize practical results that would directly benefit society at large. At the Smithsonian, Henry sought to establish a boundary between professional, theoretical science, conducted and distributed more selectively among experts, and wider public influence and demand for utilitarian scientific work. Examination of discourse in popular publications reveals that Henry’s plan created an ongoing public debate in the 1850s regarding the Smithsonian’s legitimate scientific mission. This included criticism of the Smithsonian publications program’s inaccessibility and lack of utility to the public as well as many alternative proposals for how the institution might be of better scientific use to Americans. Such expectations that Smithsonian research and resources would serve the general American population were also expressed throughout the correspondence of the Smithsonian Meteorology Project—the Institution’s first major scientific research initiative. Although Henry sought to create a boundary between theInstitution’s work and the public, the utilitarian demands of many of the project’s volunteer observers ensured that the practical goals of the public remained intertwined with Henry’s own goals to promote theoretical science in the development of the Smithsonian. The influential work of this extended scientific community was often made possible through the contributions of additional members of households. Close reading of the meteorological project correspondence reveals an extensive, although often officially unacknowledged, contribution from women and other individuals whose labor was often more fixed to the household. While the public volunteers of the project shaped the trajectory of the Smithsonian, the devalued labor of peripheral contributors to the Institution’s large-scale data work set important precedent for professional scientific frameworks at the end of the century. Overall, the relationship between the early Smithsonian and the public in the 1850s demonstrates that the process of establishing borders defining a professional/amateur dichotomy in American science was uneven. The Institution contended with republican expectations of the scientific public and its projects continued to rely upon contributors without formal or elite credentials who in turn demanded accessible and practical research and shaped scientific institutions. Despite Joseph Henry's contribution to the professionalization and specialization of science, the boundaries of science and who could participate in scientific research remained fluid through the mid-nineteenth century.
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    Show and Tell: Exploring how audio narratives can complement visualizations of stroke survivors’ personal health data
    (2023) Shettigar, Aishwarya; Choe, Eun Kyoung; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Wearable technology in healthcare could give individuals awareness and independence in rehabilitation. In this qualitative work, I investigate how using speech-based, audio narrative summaries alongside graphical visualizations affect users’ understanding of their personal data. I conducted this work in the context of stroke recovery, where stroke survivors experiencing hemiparesis can monitor their physical progress using a wearable ring sensor. Using a co-design approach, I engaged with stroke survivors and their caregivers to elicit recommendations for multimodal (speech/visual) feedback of the wearable ring data. Reflexive thematic analysis of the sessions showed that multimodal feedback can potentially lend therapeutic support for stroke survivors. Audio narratives helped to reinforce the visual feedback, and positively framed narrative content that was reflective, motivational, and suggestive was able to support stroke survivors as they navigate their independent recovery journeys.
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    The People's Choice: PAIRing User-Centered Design With Crowdsourcing To Combat Misinformation on TikTok
    (2023) Grover, Saransh; Hassan, Naeemul; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Social Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok have created a rampant increase in user-generated content online. Moderation and validation of misinformation on these platforms are still significant challenges. One approach to address misinformation on social media has been to crowdsource the validity of content through the platform users. However, research conducted on crowdsourced fact-checking has focused largely on traditional and text-based sources. In addition, it has yet to focus on user-centered design to understand how users of platforms would create tools to mitigate misinformation. This thesis addresses these knowledge gaps by understanding approaches to using crowdsourcing to combat misinformation on TikTok, the fastest-growing social networking site with over one billion monthly active users. By using TikTok as a case study, I conduct a thematic analysis of content on the platform to understand how users currently counter claims and misinformation and then conduct participatory design sessions with TikTok users to identify limitations, improvements, and potential solutions. Based on these findings, I present a set of design guidelines referred to as the PAIR approach that outline key considerations for a crowdsourcing platform combatting misinformation on a social networking site such as TikTok.
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    Under Purityrannical Pressure: The Free Press Resolution to Information Crises
    (2023) Adams, Andrew Alan; Jaeger, Paul T; Gorham, Ursula; Library & Information Services; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Government information changed by a keystroke to serve political ends. Millions of Americans unable to access the Internet because telecom companies lobby state governments. The banning of books, closing of libraries, and criminalization of librarians suppress LGBT voices. The actions abuse power while hiding behind “fair and balanced” government information, “unfair competition” with government services, and “protecting children” from corrupting, sexual literature, making the actions purityrannical. The resolution to these crises come from an old understanding of the First Amendment’s freedom of the press, not as institutional journalists, but as an infrastructure that moves free speech through publishing, transmitting, and distributing the information to the people. The Constitution, laws and agencies passed and established by Congress, and the holdings of numerous Supreme Court cases reveal this infrastructure, but it must be formally recognized to resolve these crises and protect the First Amendment from future purityrannical attacks.
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    EXPLORING EMBODIED MATHEMATICAL COGNITION THROUGH FROM HERE TO THERE!
    (2023) Katirci, Nihal; Williams-Pierce, Caroline; History/Library & Information Systems; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation seeks to investigate how digital gestures connect to students’ mathematical understanding when playing From Here to There! (FH2T). This investigation explores the intersection of three fields, game-based learning, embodied cognition, and mathematics education. I used three studies which break down the different aspects of the overall research: Study 1 (The Game Interaction Study) covers the interaction between the game and the researcher; Study 2 (The Quantitative Gesture Study) is based on an analysis of the quantitative data gathered by the developers; and Study 3 (The Student Observations Study) focuses on collecting qualitative data and analyzing it through embodied mathematical cognition and failure and feedback lenses. These three studies illuminate the understanding of digital gestures and mathematical learning.