Jessica Curtis is a GK-12 fellow and graduate student at Boston University pursuing her PhD in Statistics. Her research, working with professor Mark Kon in the Statistics department, focuses on the topic of feature selection in DNA data. Jessica works with high-dimensional genomic data to statistically determine a small subset of genes that are closely associated with the biological propagation of cancer. Targeting certain genes or genetic pathways that are strongly associated with cancer aids in the detection, classification, and eventual targeted treatment of different types of cancer. Her work is specifically looking to advancing current methodology and applications in this field.
As a GK-12 GLACIER fellow, Jessica will be working with Melissa London, who is an experience 6th grade science teacher at Pierce middle school in Brookline, MA. Acting as the “data expert” in the classroom, Jessica will enhance Ms. London’s current science curriculum by focusing largely on introducing and developing quantitative skills in the science classroom. Jessica’s lesson plans will focus largely on the connection between science and data collection, management, and analysis. The applications of quantitative skills will also be presented within the context of global climate change.