Michelle Wilkerson, Professor

Closed (1) Python Developer for an Anticolonial Educational Video Game

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2021.

Guaiya Means Love is an anti-colonial narrative video game that aims to support power-critical computer science (CS) identity. “Guaiya” is the Chamorro, or indigenous Guamanian, word for Love. Guaiya Means Love is meant to appeal to and to serve students historically unwelcome in the dominant gamer, hacker, and wider tech communities. In the game, players get to hack the game’s Python source code itself to advance. We are interested in how a game framed around hacking and coding for social justice could support people to become excited to use tech skill for issues they care about. In the video game, you play as an indigenous character named Clara whose mission is to fight for social justice in her community. To achieve this mission, participants learn how to hack into the game itself and use their skills to shape how it unfolds. The research explores if players thought hacking code was useful to their goals, whether they learned anything new about the anti-colonial issues explored, and whether they plan on talking more about these issues with other people. Answers to these questions can give us clues about how power-critical CS identities emerge in the context of gameplay.

We are looking for game development and engineering help.

As a Python developer, you will implement both front-end and back-end innovations. You will receive mentorship from graduate students and professors, but also have a lot of control and ability to implement your vision for our game’s functionality and polish. Your code will ship to production.

Guaiya is built in RenPy 7, which uses Python 2.7. Sometime this fall, we will migrate to Python 3, or RenPy 8.

Tasks may include:
● Implement levels, game mechanics, scoring, and other functional gameplay elements.
● Polish the game’s GUI utilizing our RenPy’s Python framework.
● Iterate on features, do code review on GitHub, and ship to production (e.g. itch.io).
● Work with other developers, Principal Investigators, UX researchers, designers, and other stakeholders.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Collette Roberto, Graduate Student

Qualifications: We are excited about diverse candidates who bring a unique perspective and background, who are passionate about re-thinking video games, and who are open to learning new things! Minimum qualifications: You enjoy coding and building things that make a difference. You have taken 2+ computer science courses with a significant coding project. You have at least 1 semester of experience on some extracurricular coding project. Preferred qualifications: You are concerned about injustices in society and want to take meaningful action. You can work independently / asynchronously. You have industry experience in software engineering.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Off-Campus Research Site: (Off campus until it is safe to return, at that time, a dedicated on-campus workspace will be available)

Closed (2) Writing Data Stories - Creating Dataset Dashboards for Middle and High School Data Science Education

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

Writing Data Stories is a project that seeks to reorganize how young people, especially linguistically and ethnoracially minoritized students, learn about and interact with data. A partnership including Bay Area schools, UC Berkeley, the Concord Consortium, North Carolina State University and the University of Texas at Austin, the project will engage middle school students in exploring scientific datasets about earth and the environment using flexible online data visualization and analysis tools. Typically, school data investigations use small datasets that students create themselves, or larger datasets that clearly illustrate simple relationships and are less connected to students’ lives. Our goal is instead for students to author “data stories” that reorganize everyday and scientific conventions to position students themselves and the complex issues they care about at the center of each data investigation. In the process, students will be supported in learning to elicit support for their cause, critically reflect on their experiences, craft scientific arguments, and manipulate or wrangle large datasets.

This position listing is for a data curator who will help:
(1) Identify and access large, publicly available, socially-relevant local and national datasets (e.g. from the Pew Center, US Census, EPA, NOAA, National Equity Atlas, Social Explorer).
(2) Assist in cleaning, annotating, and recoding datasets as necessary.
(3) Importing the datasets into a free online educational data science tool called the Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP).
(4) Creating multimodal "data stories" as models that show what can be learned from combining large datasets with other forms of historical and social research.
(5) (Optional) Design introductory materials to help students become familiar with each dataset and its context of collection.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Collette Roberto, Graduate Student

Qualifications: We are looking for diverse undergraduates from multiple backgrounds and research experience. Training is available, so no prior experience is necessary. However, familiarity with CSV files, data tools (e.g. R, RStudio, python pandas, Tableau etc.) and/or a Data Science background is a plus. This position is perfect for anyone interested in developing skills related to dataset search and wrangling, ethical data science education, middle and high school curriculum materials development, and data analysis and storytelling.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Off-Campus Research Site: We are flexible with work arrangements; for Fall 2021 we will likely conduct most work via Zoom.

Closed (3) Writing Data Stories - Website and Materials Design and Development

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

Writing Data Stories is a project that seeks to reorganize how young people, especially linguistically and ethnoracially minoritized students, learn about and interact with data. A partnership including Bay Area schools, UC Berkeley, the Concord Consortium, North Carolina State University and the University of Texas at Austin, the project will engage middle school students in exploring scientific datasets about earth and the environment using flexible online data visualization and analysis tools. Typically, school data investigations use small datasets that students create themselves, or larger datasets that clearly illustrate simple relationships and are less connected to students’ lives. Our goal is instead for students to author “data stories” that reorganize everyday and scientific conventions to position students themselves and the complex issues they care about at the center of each data investigation. In the process, students will be supported in learning to elicit support for their cause, critically reflect on their experiences, craft scientific arguments, and manipulate or wrangle large datasets.

This position listing is for a web designer who will help:
(1) Find and present inspirational model websites from similar research projects.
(2) Consult with the project team to determine website needs and build consensus around key design elements.
(3) Design a project website that allows teachers and researchers to easily find and access project outputs including curricular materials, data dashboards, scholarly papers, and other useful tools.
(4) Maintain/update the website as needed.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Collette Roberto, Graduate Student

Qualifications: We are looking for diverse undergraduates from multiple backgrounds and experience. Training is available, so no prior experience is necessary. However, familiarity with web design including Wordpress or similar platforms is a plus. This position is perfect for anyone interested in web design, K-12 curriculum, and teacher/student outreach.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Off-Campus Research Site: Work arrangements are negotiable; for Fall 2021 we will most likely conduct most of our work via Zoom.

Closed (4) Support mathematical reasoning, argumentation, and interest through participation in mathematical proving

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

“Puzzling Proofs” is a design-based research project that explores how a puzzle-like proving activity may organize and guide youths’ participation in knowledge building practices. This novel activity design employs sticky notes (physical or digital) to support students’ sharing of ideas and building of arguments, as they engage in mathematical explorations and proofs. The main hypothesis driving this work is that more flexible activity materials can support diverse reasoning practices and encourage different ways of engaging with mathematics, thus making proof construction and communication more accessible to students.
This project was conceptualized in response to the typical experiences middle and high school students have with proofs in mathematics in US classrooms that often lead them to think that proofs are primarily done by teachers and in a very linear (deductive) way similar to how one would read them in a textbook. This view of doing proofs is in contrast to how mathematicians engage in proving: often following a nonlinear path that employs multiple forms of reasoning (e.g. exploratory, inductive and deductive). Our goal is for youth to have opportunities to experience this more flexible way of doing mathematics themselves, and through this process, gain a broader understanding of what doing and learning mathematics can look like.
Towards this goal, we collected data both about how young students might engage with a new way of building arguments, and about how teachers might employ this activity design to better serve their needs when teaching their students about argumentation.

This listing is for a research assistant position with a primary focus on (qualitative) data analysis. Responsibilities will include one or more of the following, depending on the undergraduate student’s interests:
Student-focused data:
Transcription of video/audio recordings of young learners as they engage in (mathematical) argumentation
Analysis of transcripts and video data to identify patterns in reasoning and participation
Analysis of short survey responses that explore students’ prior experiences with mathematics as they relate to their experiences with this new approach to doing proofs.
Teacher-focused data:
Transcription of video/audio recordings of pre-service teachers as they engage in (mathematical) argumentation and reflect on their experiences
Analysis of changes in the design of the activity in relation to goals teachers had identified, and their implementation reflections.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Vicky Laina, Ph.D. candidate

Qualifications: By participating in this project, undergraduate students will gain experience in qualitative data analysis, including video analysis and coding. They will be involved in the development and refinement of coding rubrics and they’ll have opportunities to suggest and pursue lines of analysis that might be of interest to them. Prior research experience is not necessary and training will be provided as needed. Time commitment for this project will be 4-10 hours/week (negotiable) and day-to-day supervision will be provided by Vicky Laina. Some familiarity with Box and Box online is desirable and the completion of CITI training is necessary prior to working with data. If you have ever felt that “proofs are not for me,” then you are especially welcome to apply. This will hopefully be not only an opportunity for research experience, but also for reimagining mathematics education!

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Off-Campus Research Site: Work arrangements are flexible/open to negotitation.