Armisha Roberts

1st Year PhD Student
Computer Science
University of Florida

About Me

I was a Mathematics major and I graduated from Howard University. When I was younger I wanted to be a lawyer because I loved to talk and TV shows made lawyers look cool to me.

How was your experience with STEM classes and teachers in middle and high school?

My middle school math teacher was the one who actually made me like math. Prior to stepping foot in his classroom I was like every other typical child that hated math and struggled with it. However, I have always been a competitive student so I wanted to be great in all of my classes so I always worked hard and studied often to get good grades. This of course led to the teachers liking me and to my peers coming to me for help when they needed.

After grad school, what’s next?

Once I have become Dr. Roberts, I plan to join one of the many great HBCUs as a professor to help inspire more great minds.

What do you do to unwind?

I love to travel! But I can’t run off and leave the country every two seconds so when I’m not traveling I like to test my skills in the kitchen with a new meal, read a new book or just watch some TV and be lazy.

My Research

My research is currently in its infancy, but I am working with learning technologies. More specifically, I want to help middle and high school age students with algebra level courses through a learning tool that I will develop. I want my system to be culturally relevant and focus on minority communities to improve their understanding and build a solid foundation in math.

When I was a math major in undergrad, I never wanted to be selfish with my talents so I became a tutor at my university. While tutoring I noticed that students were beyond capable of understanding and completing the work, they were just never taught the basics properly. Seeing the light bulb click for someone while working on a problem gave me a sense of achievement. I genuinely enjoy helping others when they want to learn.

Knowing that my work can immediately assist students around the world fills me with excitement that I can’t even put into words. I want to shatter the belief that it’s normal or socially acceptable for children to dislike math.

This may sound odd but the hardest thing about research is the research. You must have the drive to go out and find the answer to these questions you have developed.

My Grad School Experience

I chose graduate school because I want to become a professor at an HBCU. I have encounter so many influential individuals that have changed my life for the better and I want to continue this cycle for coming generations

Imposter syndrome is real and I know I am living proof of it. I often question my abilities and even my career choices, but I have a strong support system that constantly reassures me that I am on the correct path for my life. I also make sure I properly dedicate some time out of each day for myself. From watching a TV show to planning a vacation, I know that I must keep myself happy and in a good space.

My biggest cheerleaders are certainly my mother and a close friend of mine that will be in medical school shortly. The lab I work with is nothing but amazing and my advisor is extremely supportive which is a luxury not all graduate students are blessed with—especially for minority graduate students. My father passed a couple of years ago, but I know if he were still here he would be pushing me along every step of the way.

 

What do you want to say to up and coming Melanin Genius?

You are amazing and talented! Continue to push yourself and know that you are never alone through this process.

What has been the most useful life advice you have received?

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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