Individuals usually ask Mia Jackson what precisely utilized arithmetic is.
However in some methods, she says, it’s fairly simple. It’s the sector of research that has allowed her, as a Yale School pupil, to take “math-ish” programs supplied by colleges and departments throughout campus — biology, economics, public well being — and apply some math-related expertise to challenges in these domains.
As soon as she started incorporating her rising curiosity in pc science, her space of educational focus, Jackson, a Jonathan Edwards resident and Fulbright recipient, began seeing the chance to essentially make a distinction.
Take, as an illustration, her expertise within the course “Illness and Well being in African American Historical past.” Within the class, supplied by way of the Historical past of Science and Medication program, she discovered about disparities in maternal well being in communities of coloration and the way the pernicious results of previous inequities persist at the moment.
Struck by these classes, she and two different college students created a prototype for a cell app that gives girls of coloration with perinatal assets. In early 2020, the idea received a second-place prize in a “well being hackathon” hosted by Yale’s Heart for Biomedical Innovation and Expertise.
“I didn’t have any pc science background earlier than coming to Yale,” says Jackson, a local of Virginia. “However I began seeing programming as this clean canvas. You could have all these numbers and symbols and also you’re in a position to produce one thing that works. A chunk of code that folks can work together with and use. This inventive course of actually excited me.”
She more and more discovered herself searching for methods to make use of knowledge and expertise to assist deal with disparities in healthcare, training, and different elements of society. Over the previous 12 months Jackson has taught pc science and supplied profession coaching to previously incarcerated individuals by way of Columbia College’s Justice by way of Code program. Earlier, she spent three years as a instructing assistant with SheCode, a undertaking that introduces middle- and highschool ladies to primary pc expertise.
As an intern with Yale’s Tobin Heart for Financial Coverage, she participated in analysis that generated a visualization of how COVID-19 was being transmitted in nursing houses in Connecticut and Ohio. Her visualizations had been shared with policymakers.
In September, Jackson will start pursuing a grasp’s diploma in city planning at College School London on a Fulbright scholarship. Utilizing GIS evaluation and different knowledge expertise, she is going to study how city design impacts well being and academic outcomes in areas with excessive poverty.
“I attempted out quite a lot of various things at Yale – totally different golf equipment and lessons — to see what caught,” she stated. “The place I’m at now, actually, I’m simply embracing all these little issues that caught.”