Jordan Dodson

Senior Jordan Dodson is double-majoring in computer science and information science within the UNC School of Information and Library Science. She is a research assistant in the Interactive Information System Laboratory. Her research focuses on how collaborative agents like chatbots can assist people in their information-seeking processes.

a young African-American woman works on her laptop in a libraryphoto by Alyssa LaFaro
February 14th, 2018

When you were a child, what was your response to this question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Describe your research in five words.

“Digital communication bots assisting collaboration.”

A food scientist! I enjoyed learning about the chemical processes that occurred within food production and distribution. I quickly learned that I was not very good a chemistry.

Share the pivotal moment in your life that helped you choose your field of study.

In middle school, I built a desktop computer with my dad and was completely amazed by how all the parts worked. Even though I am not interested in hardware, I knew that I wanted to work with computers in the future. I knew that I wanted to study information and computer science to make technology accessible for all people after I took my first human-computer interaction course.

four 20-something girls donning Carolina blue/UNC shirts

Dodson (second from right) and friends gear up for last week’s UNC vs. Duke game.

Tell us about a time you encountered a tricky problem. How did you handle it and what did you learn from it?

While working on data engineering during my internship last summer, I often ran into problems where I was unsure about some of the code that I needed for my project. I took initiative, learned a new programming language, and also asked my manager for help. I learned that the best way to better myself is to admit when I have no idea what is going on, use my resources, and ask for assistance from other people!

What are your passions outside of science? 

I absolutely love planning events on campus surrounding issues that need to be addressed by the student body. I am programs chair for the Study Abroad Peer Ambassadors, and I hosted the first-ever Mental Health and Study Abroad panel event last semester!

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