Use of big data analytics in a first year engineering project

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper describes a module on big data analytics that was developed and introduced into Freshman Engineering Clinic, which is an introductory course for students in all engineering disciplines at Rowan University. Learning objectives for the Freshman Engineering Clinic include developing skills in data collection, analyzing data to draw sound conclusions, and writing reports, with visual/graphical representation of information recognized as one critical component of effective technical writing. The NSF has awarded a grant to Rowan University to support vertical integration of big data analytics throughout the engineering curriculum. This paper focuses on the Freshman Clinic big data project, the intent of which was to introduce students to big data analytics while also furthering the general instructional objectives of the freshman course. The project was titled “Introduction to Big Data Analytics: Analyzing Tweets with Matlab”. The instructor provided the students with a Matlab code that was designed to facilitate applying Sentiment Analysis to tweets. For example, the code can be used to (1) identify tweets that contain one or more specific keywords and (2) create a histogram of words used in these tweets, in order to identify recurring themes in tweets that mention the keyword(s). The final deliverable for the project was a report in which students detailed how they used the Matlab code to answer a number of open-ended questions, as well as an introductory section in which students discussed the importance and applications of big data analytics in general. This paper describes the project and the expectations for the write-up that was submitted by the students, and also presents the results obtained from a 10-question concept inventory that was used for preliminary assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of big data analytics in a first year engineering project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this