Diversity Speaker Series, April Edition: Jakita Thomas

On April 4 2013, the ML Diversity Committee hosted Spelman College Professor of Computer and Information Sciences Jakita Thomas. Dr. Thomas discussed her recent research: “Exploring the development of computational algorithmic thinking in African-American middle-school girls.” She also discussed her separate project on women’s prenatal health and mobile phone information systems in Africa.

Dr. Thomas’s research interests include promoting access to health care information and services for under-served populations, exploring and describing the development of computational algorithmic thinking, improving reasoning using expert cases, scientific reasoning, complex cognitive skills learning, and computer-supported collaborative learning. Prior to her current position at Spelman, Dr. Thomas was a research staff member in the service design and people and practices groups at IBM Research – Almaden in San Jose, Calif.

We were originally exposed to Dr. Thomas’s work at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, where Dr. Thomas was on a panel about female minorities in computing.