Statistician Talithia Williams is an 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. 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. Williams produced “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 book highlighting the influence of women in the mathematical sciences. Williams is a proud graduate of Spelman College (B.A., mathematics), Howard University (M.S., mathematics) and Rice University (M.A., Ph.D., 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 served as a research partner to the World Health Organization. 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 but, instead, a logical, productive career path that is crucial to the future of the country.
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