Jazmine Johnson opted for logic when it came to choosing her collegiate course. As a double major in applied mathematics and computer science, the work is undoubtedly challenging. But Johnson, 21, wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s based in logic and I like that aspect of it,” she said. “I’m not a social science person because it’s too subject to me and I really don’t like philosophies because there are too many ‘what ifs’ and explanations.”
Johnson, a senior and Memphis, Tenn. native, began her journey at North Carolina A&T as an applied mathematics major, but then added computer science during her sophomore year to make herself more marketable to businesses, she said.
“A lot more doors opened for me,” she said.
But both majors also have offered her valuable experiences. As an underclassman, she participated in Math SPIRAL at Maryland – and intensive six-week summer program involving mathematical development and research at the University of Maryland College Park.
Each year the university partners with historically black colleges and universities to give students an opportunity to spend a summer on campus focusing on the program’s core components of academics, research and professional development.
“There aren’t that many black students getting math degrees, so it was nice to meet other black math majors,” Johnson said.
She also enjoyed working with those students in research projects throughout the course of the program, she said. Research also has been essential in helping her to navigate her future track.
“I like the collaboration aspect of research,” Johnson said. “As a math major, you can’t work alone because it’s so vast. Doing research over the summer helped me to narrow down and discover what branch of mathematics I want to pursue.”
Currently, Johnson is focused on deciding what her senior project will entail. While it may seem simple, she said, developing culminating projects for each major present their own unique challenges.
“At the end of the day, after all those classes, it all has to come together and you have to have something to show for it,” Johnson said.
With plans to graduate in December of 2014, Johnson hopes to go straight to work and think about graduate school options later. Until then, she remains committed to her academic pursuits on campus, and her commitment to helping other students.
She is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society and the N.C. A&T Student Chapter of the Mathematical Association of America.
“Being in the honors program surrounds me with students who act like me and think like me, and who want to succeed,” Johnson said. “It pushes me and motivates me to do things.”
Since her sophomore year, she also has been a N.C. A&T Honors Program mentor.
“When I was a freshman, I got a lot of help from upperclassmen, which is one of the main reasons why I survived my freshman year,” Johnson said. “Whether it was tutoring, advice about life or what classes to take, or even just a drive to Wal-Mart. It’s mostly a pay-it-forward-kind of thing.”