Ariel Goldman: Summer Research Log

About Me

Name: Ariel Goldman
Email: apg2164 (at)
Home Institution: Barnard College, Columbia University
Project: Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis

About My Project

My project is focused on developing software that facilitates the creation of affinity diagrams. Affinity diagrams are used to help analyze large amounts of qualitative data. The hope is that our software will help researchers efficiently create diagrams for large amounts of data, that are currently difficult to create by hand. Cindy Espinosa is my partner on this project, and Professor Morrison-Smith is our mentor.

This research is supported by Barnard Computer Science - Summer Research and by the Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Scholars Program funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Research Log

Week 1

This week, I met my research partner, Cindy, and we began reading and taking notes on papers provided by our mentor, Professor Morrison-Smith. This is helping us to better understand our research topic and relevant work that has already been done. I also worked with Cindy on a research overview presentation to present at DIMACS next week.

Week 2

This week, Cindy and I gave our research presentation to DIMACS. We were happy with how it went, and I also enjoyed hearing about the research projects of my peers.

Also, I started this week finishing reading the papers Professor Morrison-Smith provided, and then Cindy and I presented on the papers we had read at our lab group meeting. Later in the week, I started working on collecting new papers to read and reading them.

On Friday, I attended a lecture by Professor Chilton from Columbia University, through DIMACS. The presentation was on the use of AI tools in creative work, specifically Professor Chilton's work in using AI in creating visual metaphors. The presentation was very interesting, especially since the affinity diagramming process is also a creative process.

Week 3

This week I focused on reading more papers and I also attended the TRIPODS data science boot camp. The papers I have been reading have been providing lots of information and inspiration for my project. The data science boot camp has also been providing inspiration as to ways computers can interact with qualitative data. Next week we will start interview preperation, which I am very excited for!

Week 4

This week Cindy and I wrote our first draft of an abstract and a related works section. We did this draft now, so that we could write it while the papers we have read the past few weeks were still fresh in our minds.

Week 5

This week Cindy and I have been brainstorming ideas for our software, and have come up with an idea we are very excited to work on further! This week we have also been creating personas, which are fictional profiles representing our software's various typical users, and scenarios, which are fictional stories that describe users working with our software. Writing the personas and scenarios has helped us better understand our users and their needs.

Week 6

This week Cindy and I have been working on a wireframe for our software. Wireframing has been very interesting and exciting so far, and I am looking forward to continuing it next week. I also attended Professor Wright's DIMACS presentation, "Privacy in Today's World," and the DIMACS scientific writing workshop this week. Both presentations taught me a lot and were very interesting.

Week 7

This week Cindy and I continued working on our wireframes. We also started writing the introduction and research questions portions of our paper, and continued to work on the abstract and related work sections.

Week 8

This week we devoted a lot of time to working on our paper, and we also began preparing for our final presentation.

Week 9

This week we gave our final presentation and watched other DIMACS participants' final presentations. It was very exciting to learn more about the research other DIMACS participants have been doing this summer. We also worked on improving our paper this week.

Week 10

This week Cindy and I finished up our final paper and made plans for the next steps in our research project. I had an amazing research experience this summer, and I can't wait to continue my research in the fall! <\p>


Here is my mentor's website, my partner's website, and the REU website: