Jill Gostin earned her Master’s in Mathematics from Georgia Tech. Here she shares a little about her career and the inspiration behind it.
What is your specific area of STEM?
Math/Computer Science/Applied Math
How would you explain your STEM field to young girls?
I analyze data and apply mathematical techniques to understand the data.
What traits might a child possess that may indicate an interest or aptitude for your STEM field?
The ability to focus, problem solving, curiosity.
What did you know about your STEM field when you were a child?
When I was in kindergarten, my oldest sister was studying computer science in college (and would bring home punch cards for me to play with). I was already doing and enjoying math problems for fun, so my parents encouraged me by buying me math work books. Teachers later saw my aptitude and continued to encourage me to work math and logic problems.
Why did you choose your STEM field? Were you inspired by someone?
I was told I was good at it, so I decided to major in math in college. There, I took classes that gave us real-world problems to solve mathematically -- I saw real applications of math, that could impact the world! I was inspired to continue studying.
What are some really cool things that people in your profession work on?
Watch the movie, Hidden Figures, for one example of "cool" stuff that mathematicians can do. Mathematicians help solve the world's problems with food/water shortages, traffic congestion, the spread of disease. We help keep us safe by contributing to missile tracking, and helping to develop sensors to detect threats around us. At the basis of all technology is mathematics.
What inspirational message would you give young girls to inspire them to pursue STEM?
The best way to positively impact humanity, to create a better world for everyone, is through technology -- the STEM fields.
Thank you for contributing, Jill!
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