SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Ricardo Morocz
TIME: Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 9:00 a.m.
PLACE: MRDC Building, 4401A
TITLE: Difference Between Students With High and Low University Maker Space Involvement
COMMITTEE: Dr. Julie Linsey, Chair (ME)
Dr. Katherine Fu (ME)
Dr. Craig R. Forest (ME)


To measure the impact of effective maker spaces in academic institutions, it is necessary to identify who takes advantage of the equipment and resources available in these spaces, and to what extent they are being used. Once users and non-users are methodically classified, it will be possible to quantify the characteristics that differentiate the students that self-select to use these spaces and the more common, low involvement students. This differentiation is the first step in understanding the impact of university maker spaces on students and engineering education as a whole. Furthermore, characterizing users and non-users will open the possibility to track how they are impacted by their dynamic involvement and how these specific traits change throughout their academic career. Understanding the characteristics that differentiate these two groups will aid in creating initiatives that increase the accessibility and inclusiveness of university maker spaces.
The goal of this thesis is to explore various methods and tools that will allow researchers to quantify the impact of maker spaces on users. Consequently, it presents two studies that explore students’ utilization of Georgia Tech’s Invention Studio, a well-developed university maker space. The first, User Characterization study, proposes and examines a method to classify and characterize university maker space users. The second, Space Usage study, seeks to identify a non-intrusive method to quantify the daily use of university maker spaces.