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  1. While advances have been made in studying engineering design learning in the classroom, to date, such advances have not addressed hands-on, real-world learning experiences in university makerspaces. Our particular interest was how such spaces support women engineers as designers, learners, makers, and community members. To investigate this, we initially completed two qualitative interview studies: (1) a three-series in-depth phenomenologically based interview methodology with five women students and (2) a targeted, single interview protocol with 15 women students. The in-depth interviews were analyzed using grounded theory techniques and coding methods as a means to develop a typology. To explore the broader applicability of the findings, 19 additional interviews (five women and five men at Big City U.; four women and five men at Comprehensive U.) were also completed. Overall, makerspaces are confirmed to help provide women students with a diverse skillset that engages design, manufacturing, cultural knowledge, failure, collaboration, confidence, resilience, communication management, and ingenuity. 
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  2. We present a novel, general construction to abstractly interpret higher-order automatic differentiation (AD). Our construction allows one to instantiate an abstract interpreter for computing derivatives up to a chosen order. Furthermore, since our construction reduces the problem of abstractly reasoning about derivatives to abstractly reasoning about real-valued straight-line programs, it can be instantiated with almost any numerical abstract domain, both relational and non-relational. We formally establish the soundness of this construction. We implement our technique by instantiating our construction with both the non-relational interval domain and the relational zonotope domain to compute both first and higher-order derivatives. In the latter case, we are the first to apply a relational domain to automatic differentiation for abstracting higher-order derivatives, and hence we are also the first abstract interpretation work to track correlations across not only different variables, but different orders of derivatives. We evaluate these instantiations on multiple case studies, namely robustly explaining a neural network and more precisely computing a neural network’s Lipschitz constant. For robust interpretation, first and second derivatives computed via zonotope AD are up to 4.76× and 6.98× more precise, respectively, compared to interval AD. For Lipschitz certification, we obtain bounds that are up to 11,850× more precise with zonotopes, compared to the state-of-the-art interval-based tool. 
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  3. Abstract Drawing upon Bourdieu’s conceptualization of habitus, this ethnographic study explores the cultural bases guiding engineering makerspaces at a public university in the United States. Students carry forms of capital that impact their entry into these learning spaces, over time becoming disciplined in the “game” of makerspaces as they accumulate capital through everyday talk and storytelling. Communication constructs the makerspace habitus as students (1) move from outsider to insider as they acquire forms of capital; (2) negotiate a habitus characterized by tensions of access vs. exclusivity; (3) learn to use the vocabularies of innovation and creativity; and (4) cultivate supportive making communities. Findings point to the critical role of intentional communication and space design in cultivating inclusive makerspace cultures. 
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  4. The Maker Movement has led to a boom in academic makerspace development over the past 15 years. Academic makerspaces—which are those located on community college and university campuses—enable students to engage in solving challenges that are meaningful to them, while uniting students of varied expertise levels to learn from one another. Using a typology of learning developed through in-depth phenomenologically based interviews (PBI) with 35 students, this study investigates how student learning differs at two Universities with differing amounts of making integrated into the curriculum. Big City U offers a large program with traditional engineering degrees, while Comprehensive U offers a smaller program with a single design-oriented B.S. in Engineering. Interviews were coded using a previously developed learning typology and categories of learning were compared across institutions to identify similarities and differences in experiences. Preliminary findings show students are gaining comparable content knowledge, cultural knowledge, and ingenuity, but Comprehensive U students are more self-aware and learn through relationships with others more than students at Big City U. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract An academic makerspace, home to tools and people dedicated to facilitating and inspiring a making culture, is characterized by openness, creativity, learning, design, and community. This nontraditional learning environment has found an immense increase in popularity and investment in the last decade. Further, makerspaces have been shown to be highly gendered, privileging men's and masculine understandings of making. The spike in popularity warrants deeper analysis, examining the value of these spaces for women and if learning is occurring in these spaces, specifically at higher education institutions. We implemented a phenomenologically based interviewing process to capture the making experiences of 20 women students, recruited through purposive and snowball sampling. By eliciting the narratives of women students, we captured how making, designing, and creating evolved through gendered experiences in the university makerspace. Each interview was transcribed and resulted in around 868 pages of single-spaced text transcriptions. The data were analyzed through multiple cycles of open and axial coding for common themes and patterns, where makerspaces create a culture of learning, facilitate students’ design journey, and form a laboratory for creativity. These themes forwarded the creation of a learning model that showcases how design and learning interact in the makerspace. This work demonstrates that women students are engaging learning and inspiration; developing confidence and resilience; and learning how to work with others and collaborate. 
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  6. Abstract University makerspaces have been touted as a possible avenue for improving student learning, engagement, retention, and creativity. As their popularity has increased worldwide, so has the amount of research investigating their establishment, management, and uses. There have, however, been very few studies that use empirical data to evaluate how these spaces are impacting the people using them. This study of three university makerspaces measures engineering design (ED) self-efficacy and how it is correlated with involvement in the makerspaces, along with student demographics. The three university makerspaces include a relatively new makerspace at a Hispanic-serving university in the southwestern US, makerspaces at an eastern liberal arts university with an engineering program that has been created within the last decade, and a makerspace at a large, research university in the southeast often considered to be one of the top programs in the US. Students at all three universities are surveyed to determine their involvement in their university's makerspace and how they perceive their own abilities in engineering design. The findings presented in this paper show a positive correlation between engineering design self-efficacy (EDSE) and involvement in academic makerspaces. Correlations are also seen between certain demographic factors and the percentage of students who choose to use the academic makerspace available to them. These findings provide crucial empirical evidence to the community on the self-efficacy of students who use makerspaces and provide support for universities to continue making these spaces available to their students. 
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  7. Makerspaces have observed and speculated benefits for the students who frequent them. For example, previous studies have found that students who are involved in their campus’s makerspace tend to be more confident and less anxious when conducting engineering design tasks while gaining hands-on experience with machinery not obtained in their coursework. Recognizing the potential benefits of academic makerspaces, we aimed to capture what influences students to become involved in these spaces through a mixed-method study. A quantitative longitudinal study of students in a mechanical engineering program collected data on design self-efficacy, makerspace involvement, and user demographics through surveys conducted on freshmen, sophomores, and seniors. In this paper, the student responses from three semesters of freshmen level design classes are evaluated for involvement and self-efficacy based on whether or not a 3D modeling project requires the use of makerspace equipment. The study finds that students required to use the makerspace for the project were significantly more likely to become involved in the makerspace. These results inspired us to integrate a qualitative approach to examine how student involvement and exposure to the space are related. Using an in-depth phenomenologically based interviewing method, purposive sampling, and snowball sampling, six females, who have all made the conscious decision to engage in a university makerspace(s), participated in a three-series interview process. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed via emerging questions for categorical metrics and infographics of the student exposure and involvement in making and makerspaces. These findings are used to demonstrate 1) how students who do, or do not, seek out making activities may end up in the makerspace and 2) how student narratives resulting in high-makerspace involvement are impacted by prior experiences, classes, and friendships. 
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  8. Recognizing the value of engagement in learning, recent engineering education initiatives have worked to encourage all types of students to pursue engineering while also facilitating the construction of makerspaces on university campuses. Makerspaces have the potential to engage a broader range of students by providing unique and personalized pathways into engineering. While this aims to improve the quality of an engineer’s education, the reality settles in when we begin to question whether these makerspaces are, in fact, encouraging learning in engineering for all types of students. In this work, we focus on investigating how a university makerspace affords learning for female students. We implemented an in-depth phenomenologically based interviewing approach which involved a series of three 90-minute semi-structured interviews with six highly engaged female undergraduate students involved in different makerspaces at a single university. The purpose of these interviews was to engage the students in their experiences with the makerspaces and the projects that they work on in this space, so as to inform how these spaces afford learning, specifically the impact on female student learning. All interviews were conducted by the same female graduate student. This work focuses on the second interviews of two females who had student worker roles in their respective makerspaces on campus. All of the interviews for these two females were transcribed resulting in 180 pages of single-spaced transcriptions, and the second interviews were analyzed through two phases of qualitative data analysis. Types of learning emerged in multiple forms and are presented via case studies of each female participant. For case one, these types of learning include machines learning, social learning, design learning, and self-learning. In the second case, the types of learning are tool learning, resourceful learning, space learning, and management learning. These types of learning are then further discussed according to engineering education pedagogy and implications. Makerspaces are often labeled as “open, learning environments,” and this work demonstrates how these spaces facilitate unique forms of learning that engage these women in the makerspace. 
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  9. Postulating that the act of making stimulates learning, a widespread effort prompted the integration of makerspaces on college campuses. From community colleges to research-based higher education institutions, large investments were and still are being made to advance the making spirit and encourage non-traditional learning in academic settings. While optimistic that students are taking advantage of the makerspace resources and are in fact learning from their experiences, there needs to be a more direct effort to understand the learning, if any, that is occurring in the makerspace. The makerspace is labeled as an open, learning environment where students are able to design, create, innovate, and collaborate [1, 2]. In response, we investigate the claims of this statement through the research question: how is learning experienced by female students in an academic makerspace? Female students in STEM, especially those engaged in makerspaces, have unique and uncharacteristic experiences that can lend way to various learning and pedagogical implications. The purpose of this paper is to highlight our methodological process for incorporating in-depth phenomenologically based interviewing and for utilizing open and axial coding methods to establish grounded theory. We interview five female students through purposeful maximum variation sampling and snowball sampling. Through a rigorous and iterative data analysis process of the ten-percent of the overall, we created a preliminary coding scheme that articulates how learning is occurring, what design skills are being learned, and what life skills are being learned. These preliminary findings show that not only are these female students learning by doing and learning how to problem solve in design, but they are also overcoming fears, developing patience, and communicating ideas in these design-oriented makerspaces. 
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