Unit Conversions in the 21st Century: Insights into a Routine yet Critical Scientific and Engineering Task as Measured through User Interactions with a Mobile App



There appears to be no published knowledge regarding how humans use unit conversions.  Until very recently, acquiring such data would be essentially impossible, but mobile devices have now enabled many questions to be answered through passive “crowdsourcing” of big data sets. This work details the analysis of five years of anonymous user data collected from a unit converter mobile application utilized by nearly 50,000 users in 210 countries to perform ~870,000 calculations over that period. 

Author Biographies

Jason Edward Bara, University of Alabama

Jason E. Bara is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at the University of Alabama. Jason earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He won the 2018 ASEE Ray W. Fahien Award for excellence in chemical engineering education and the 2017 AIChE David Himmelblau Award for Innovations in Computer-Based Chemical Engineering Education Award.

John Patrick McLemore

John Patrick “JP” McLemore received BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama.  While a student at UA, McLemore worked with Bara to develop a number of iOS mobile apps and software modules for chemical engineering and other STEM disciplines.  JP currently works as a Sustaining Engineer for Schlumberger in the Houston, TX area.