Beginning today, tPP will feature weekly blog posts from our student research team on a variety of topics. Stay tuned!
Greetings from tPP!
Hello, and welcome to the first blog update of the semester. We’ve only met once thus far as a class; we have one three-hour class every Thursday afternoon as well as an optional two-hour meeting on Tuesday for those who are available. The class period Thursday demonstrated how helpful having a full class period together is going to be. With just this first meeting, we were able to clear the air of a summers’ worth of housekeeping and establish the plan for the completion of coding all available cases.
We’re currently in the home stretch of coding these final cases before we begin analyzing the current data. Before tomorrow, the goal is to have added every person who qualifies into the database. This includes new cases that have made the news this summer as well as older cases we have found by combing through lists of people charged with terrorism. We understand that it is impossible to be fully comprehensive, but are hoping to get as large of a data set as possible before we start to pick apart patterns in the data.
While the final search for new cases is being completed, the majority of the team has been focusing on coding the rest of the database, both new cases and the case backlog. Much of this process is the standard coding procedure – each case is coded by two people, who then compare their results before entering it in the database as complete. Some cases are missing a few variables or awaiting charges and sentencing, while others need to be reviewed before being entered as a case that falls within our parameters.
A small group met Tuesday in order to work out some of the kinks in cases that have been up for debate in order to finalize the data available. The decision was made to hold cases to a stricter rather than a more lenient standard; if the case is in a grey area, we will be more willing to exclude it than include it. This was chosen so that our data and results truly represents what we say it does.
Wish us luck as we plow the final stretch of coding!