Berger With a Side of Code
Many things may cross your mind when you think about the different possibilities of coding and what exactly can be programmed as “code”. Very few have taken coding as far as Michigan Tech Ph.D candidate Jamie Berger, founder of Berger With a Side of Code. Jamie takes some of our favorite rap lyrics and transcribes them into code on her Instagram account @bergerwithasideofcode.
Unlike most influencers on social media, Jamie isn’t chasing likes or viral videos.
With 160 posts in just under a year, Jamie Berger has almost 4,000 followers. Anyone with a decent social media following can attest, those numbers are rather high for somebody with no booking info in their bio. Unlike most influencers on social media, Jamie isn’t chasing likes or viral videos. Instead she's tapping into the potential of social media to communicate the relevance of computer science and STEM education for the purpose of minority and female empowerment.
Berger's research, centered on Native Americans and computing, sprang from her surroundings. "I love figuring out how people learn and how to make learning better. I got really lucky with my research because it's related to what's around me. We have a large Native American population. Why don't we have more pipelines to Michigan Tech? A nice green flag, something to do here."
The PhD program has been offered since the early 2000s. Berger, who hopes to graduate in 2021, wasn't expecting to be the first black person to earn a computer science doctorate at Michigan Tech.
"It's exciting and surprising at the same time," she says. At first, she thought the gap might have something to do with diversity in the region. But as she began to attend conferences, she learned otherwise. "This is very common at a lot of schools. It's a way bigger issue than at Michigan Tech."
So she looked for the most effective way to take a big issue to a bigger audience. The answer: social media.
Make sure to follow Jamie on her Ph.D journey @bergerwithasideofcode.
#STEMIsTheNewBlack #BergerWithASideOfCode #Lyrics2Code #NotYourAverageStatistics