Energy

Academics: Computer Science Needs To Be About Feminist Feelings

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

Computer scientists should be more in touch with their feelings and emotions, according to a peer-reviewed study by a Purdue University academic published last week.

The academic in question spent five years conducting an autoethnographic study on how introductory computer programming courses should be taught. Autoethnography is a form of “scientific” research that explores the researcher’s personal experiences and feelings. Official academic definitions claim that the method “treats research as a political, socially-just and socially-conscious act.” The method of research is closely tied to feminist thought and “queer-theory.”

The study’s abstract claims “autoethnographic method provides a new, credible way for educators to reflect and inform their practices.” Autoethnographery has been heavily criticized in by other academics for being overly concerned with “socially-just acts” over research accuracy.

In general, academics say that “autoethnographers view research and writing as socially-just acts; rather than a preoccupation with accuracy.”

The study’s sole author was Zahra Atiq, a graduate student at Purdue’s School of Engineering Education. Atiq’s previous research examined how engineering students decided what they want to study. Her academic profile at Purdue does not list any other research.

Out-of-state graduate students at Purdue pay an estimated cost of $41,404 annually according to the a cost calculator provided by the school’s financial aid department. Purdue’s endowment was estimated at $2.398 billion in 2015.

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