March 4, 2021
"Power in Numbers: Rebel Women of Mathematics"
Women's History and Celebration of Science and Mathematics Keynote
Sponsored by the College of Science, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, the Women and Gender Studies Program, the Office of Graduate Education and Research and the Honors Program
Talithia Williams is professor of mathematics and statistics at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California and the author of the critically praised book, Power In Numbers: Rebel Women of Mathematics. Williams received her B.S. in Mathematics from Spelman College before earning Master’s degrees in Mathematics from Howard University and in Statistics from Rice University and finally a PhD in Statistics from Rice University. In addition to teaching, her professional experience include research appointments at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the National Security Agency and NASA.
Renowned for her popular TED Talk, "Own Your Body's Data", Dr. Williams takes sophisticated numerical concepts and makes them understandable to a wide audience. She demystifies the mathematical process in amusing and insightful ways, using statistics as a way of seeing the world in a new light and transforming our future through the bold new possibilities inherent in the STEM fields.
Talithia Williams develops statistical models which emphasize the spatial and temporal structure of data and has partnered with the World Health Organization in developing a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for countries in Africa. Through her research and work in the community at large, she is helping change the collective mindset regarding STEM in general and math in particular—rebranding the field of mathematics as anything but dry, technical or male-dominated, revealing it instead as a logical, productive career path that is crucial to the future of the country.
She is active in her faith community and serves with her husband as a Christian marriage mentor couple, all while being the mom of three amazing boys.
Published on March 04, 2021