Dr. Helen Jackson is a former research physicist for the Air Force Research Lab. She is also a visiting faculty at Wright State University in Ohio. Currently, she applies artificial intelligence to x-ray imagery for transportation security applications. In addition to working as a physicist, she is an experienced software engineer and now machine learning data scientist.
While a Vanderbilt University Research Associate, she developed a prototype for radiation dosimetry for cancer. She also did short assignments as a graduate student at Fisk with the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory Nuclear Nonproliferation department.
Her Ph.D. in Engineering Physics (from the Air Force Institute of Technology) specialized in radiation effects on semiconductors. Her research with the Air Force benefited air defense. Her experimental, modeling, and simulation efforts on radiation-damaged semiconductors was used for mitigation, reliability, and lifetime information for semiconductors deployed in radiation-intense environments. This research led to optimal device design and performance, as well as a patent on heterostructure semiconductor radiation hardness.
Her history with the homeschool movement began after she resigned from NASA. Shortly after marrying John Jackson, an accomplished NASA engineer and inventor, she decided to embark on homeschooling her children. She was a star witness in the historical homeschool case Leeper vs. Arlington, which in a groundbreaking ruling legalized homeschooling in the state of Texas.
Her homeschooled children are all very successful in their careers now, with advanced technical degrees and/or business ownership. Dr. Jackson is not antagonistic toward public schooling, as over the decades she has gone into public school classrooms and volunteered, mentored, and taught in the Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM) areas. She is currently a mentor and a fellow with the New York Academy of Sciences.