Jakita O. Thomas, Ph.D.
Jakita O. Thomas is a Philpott Westpoint Stevens Associate Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Auburn University in Auburn, AL. Dr. Thomas is also Director of the CUltuRally & SOcially Relevent (CURSOR) Computing Lab. Her research interests include exploring the development of computational algorithmic thinking, Intersectional Computing promoting access to healthcare information and services for under-served populations, improving reasoning using expert cases, scientific reasoning, complex cognitive skills learning, and computer-supported collaborative learning.
She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer & Information Science with a minor in Mathematics from Spelman College in 1999. In 2006, Dr. Thomas earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science with a specialization in the Learning Sciences and Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, GA. She was only the 2nd Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and the first in Learning Sciences and Technology. During her matriculation, she was a Presidential Fellow, National Physical Science Consortium Fellow, tutor, mentor, and Research Assistant.
Prior to her current position at Auburn University, Dr. Thomas was a member of the Computer & Information Science faculty at Spelman College (2010 - 2016), where she was awarded the Spelman College Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Junior Faculty Member (2013) as well as the Spelman College Presidential Award for Scholarly Achievement by a Junior Faculty Member (2015). Dr. Thomas was also Research Staff Member in the Service Design and People and Practices groups at IBM Research - Almaden in San Jose, CA (2005 - 2010). Dr. Thomas is a member of the International Society of the Learning Sciences, Association of Computing Machinery, Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, African-American Ph.Ds in Computer Science, Upsilon Pi Epsilon Computer Science Honor Society, and Golden Key National Honor Society.
Dr. Thomas is a recipient of the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award (2012 - 2019). She is also a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (2016). Dr. Thomas has been awarded Dr. Thomas has received over $700k in funding to support her research.