Talithia Williams, PhD, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Mathematics Clinic Director, develops statistical models which emphasize the spatial and temporal structure of data, and applies them to problems in the environment. She has partnered with the World Health Organization in developing a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for countries in Africa. Her research interests also include nonstationary covariance estimation and change-of-support problem
Williams takes sophisticated numerical concepts and makes them understandable and relatable to everyone. As illustrated in her popular TedTalk, “Own Your Body’s Data,” 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. As an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, she has made it her life’s work to get people—students, parents, educators and community members—more excited about the possibilities inherent in a STEM education.
Williams received her B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College, master’s degrees in both mathematics from Howard University and statistics from Rice University, and a PhD in statistics from Rice University. Her professional experiences include research appointments at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the National Security Agency (NSA), and NASA.