Presentation Title

Bringing Equity to Higher Education: A Lesson in Disruptive Innovation

Location

Howard Performing Arts Center

Start Date

8-19-2021 9:00 AM

End Date

8-19-2021 10:10 AM

Description

Meeting the demands of a 21st-century workforce requires that we look beyond traditional talent pools to recruit and train students that have been historically marginalized in academic disciplines. Noted for her work in STEAM outreach, Talithia Williams explores how disruptive innovation in the classroom can motivate women and people of color to become open to pursuing STEAM degrees and envision themselves as future STEAM leaders. By challenging the status quo, we allow for ongoing innovative contributions to our society and the world.

Biography

Statistician Talithia Williams is an innovative, award-winning Harvey Mudd College professor, a co-host of the PBS NOVA series “NOVA Wonders” and a speaker whose popular TED Talk, “Own Your Body’s Data,” extols the value of statistics in quantifying personal health information. She demystifies the mathematical process in amusing and insightful ways to excite students, parents, educators and the larger community about STEM education and its possibilities. In 2015, she won the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Beginning College or University Mathematics Faculty Member, which honors faculty members whose teaching is effective and extraordinary, and extends its influence beyond the classroom. It is this excellence that attracted the attention of online educational company The Great Courses, which selected Williams to produce “Learning Statistics: Concepts and Applications in R,” a series of lectures in which she provides tools to evaluate statistical data and determine if it’s used appropriately. She is the author of “Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics,” a full-color book highlighting the influence of women in the mathematical sciences in the last two millennia and has narrated several science documentary films including NOVA’s “Secrets in our DNA” and “Hindenburg: The New Evidence.”

Williams is a proud graduate of Spelman College (BA, mathematics), Howard University (MS, mathematics) and Rice University (MA, PhD, statistics). Her research focus involves developing statistical models that emphasize the spatial and temporal structure of data and applies them to problems in the environment. She’s worked at NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National Security Agency and has partnered with the World Health Organization on research regarding cataract surgical rates in African countries. Faith and family round out a busy life that she shares with her husband and three amazing boys. Through her research and work in the community at large, she is helping change the collective mindset regarding STEAM in general and math in particular, rebranding the field of mathematics as anything but dry, technical or male-dominated but, instead, a logical, productive career path that is crucial to the future of the country.

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Aug 19th, 9:00 AM Aug 19th, 10:10 AM

Bringing Equity to Higher Education: A Lesson in Disruptive Innovation

Howard Performing Arts Center

Meeting the demands of a 21st-century workforce requires that we look beyond traditional talent pools to recruit and train students that have been historically marginalized in academic disciplines. Noted for her work in STEAM outreach, Talithia Williams explores how disruptive innovation in the classroom can motivate women and people of color to become open to pursuing STEAM degrees and envision themselves as future STEAM leaders. By challenging the status quo, we allow for ongoing innovative contributions to our society and the world.