A group of students and Dr. Britt He stand behind a conference booth table facing the camera
News Story

Student Perspectives: AERA Conference Presentations

A group of students and Dr. Britt He stand behind a conference booth table facing the camera

Last month, a group of DSAN students, led by Dr. Britt He, attended the prestigious AERA Conference in Philadelphia. Second-year students Kefan Yu and Yiming Chen presented their work, while fellow students from Dr. He’s Adaptive Measurement class volunteered their time and talents. Read on to hear about Yiming and Kefan’s experiences in their own words.

*Responses lightly edited for length and clarity

Yiming Chen

It was a great pleasure to have the opportunity to present my research paper, titled “IdentifyingRobust Classifiers of Sequential Process Data in Adult Digital Literacy Tasks: A Machine Learning Approach,”. I would love to express my genuine gratitude to the initiation of the capstone project class at DSAN and especially to Professor Britt for her invaluable guidance and support throughout the research process. Without the support and mentorship from Professor Britt, attending such an esteemed conference wouldn’t have been possible.

Yiming sits at a table with her open laptop showing her research work. She is wearing a gray sweater.

Participating in the conference and presenting my work during the roundtable session was an enriching experience, which expanded my perspective within the field of education.Immersed in various sessions, I delved into topics ranging from process data analysis to education policy and quantitative measurement methods. I discovered the predominant importance of tailoring presentations to specific audiences, ensuring that individuals with diverse research focuses can comprehend the significance of my work and provide their valuable feedback. As a result, I have obtained precious insights that will influence and enhance my future endeavors in both research methodology and presentation preparation.

Engaging with professors, scholars, and researchers from diverse institutions during sessions and receptions provided a platform to exchange experiences and get insights into their perspectives on my research study. The opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback from experts within my field was beneficial, offering me a more comprehensive understanding of my study from various points.

My participation in the AERA conference has been an unforgettable journey. Marked by both academic discovery and personal growth. I would love to give my sincere gratitude again to my professors, my supervisor, my classmates, and the whole DSAN community for their unwavering support and encouragement. This experience has greatly strengthened my passion for research and sparked my further enthusiasm for contributing to the advancement of the educational measurement field.

Kefan Yu

I am honored to have had my proposal accepted by the Division-D Methodology section of the AERA Conference. This provided me with the opportunity to present my project alongside Professor Qiwei Britt He during a poster presentation session.

As a student in the DSAN program, I have been deeply involved in several academic projects focusing on statistical modeling and measurement. While I have routinely shared findings with professors and fellow DSAN students, presenting at this conference is my first experience addressing a gathering of professional researchers and representatives from prominent educational institutions. The opportunity to present was exciting; it allowed me to exhibit the algorithms and techniques I have mastered throughout my studies. More importantly, the conference served as an important platform for networking and knowledge exchange.

Engaging with experts from various fields, including educational policy, was particularly enlightening. For example, discussions about how to translate research findings into actionable policy changes or adapt them to different international countries has provided me with invaluable perspective on the practical applications of my work, which I seldom consider in my school projects.

Kefan stands in a conference hall in from of a large digital monitor that is displaying his poster.

Furthermore, the ability to explain complex data science concepts to an audience without a technical background has not only enhanced my communication skills but also deepened my understanding of the subject matter. It is through these exchanges that I can see the tangible impact of my research on diverse communities.

This experience not only allowed me to showcase my academic progress but also facilitated significant professional growth through interactions with scholars and practitioners. The insights gained from these interactions are instrumental in refining my approach to educational research and will influence my future career in the field of educational measurement.