Researcher to measure middle schoolers’ data science knowledge in context of social issues

Golnaz Arastoopour Irgens

Golnaz Arastoopour Irgens, assistant professor in Clemson’s education and human development department.
Image Credit: College of Education

A Clemson University faculty member will use an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to examine middle school students’ data science knowledge and practices through the lens of social issues and gauge students’ sense of empowerment to positively change communities through data science.

Golnaz Arastoopour Irgens, assistant professor of learning sciences in the Clemson University College of Education, said it is a common misconception that data is neutral or free from the influence of social issues or that data has no effect on social issues. She said it is often the case that technology informed by data science, such as search engines or facial recognition software, has been shown to either reinforce discrimination or mischaracterize minority groups.

Because humans design these forms of technology and many more make decisions based on them,

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