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Talithia Williams

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
3:45–5:00 p.m.

Dr. Talithia Williams takes sophisticated numerical concepts, including her specialty field big data, and makes them understandable and relatable to everyone. As illustrated in her popular TED Talk, "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 (science, technology, mathematics, and engineering) 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.

Dr. Williams develops statistical models focusing on spatial and temporal data and has partnered with the World Health Organization to develop a cataract model used to predict the cataract surgical rate for developing countries. Her professional career includes research appointments at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the National Security Agency, and NASA.

She holds a Ph.D. in statistics from Rice University and earned two master’s degrees, one in mathematics from Howard University and one in statistics from Rice University.

Plenary: Expanding the College Opportunity Pipeline for Lower-Income Students

Thursday, March 8, 2018
1:00–2:15 p.m.

In December 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Aspen Institute, Ithaka S+R, and the leaders of a diverse set of 30 colleges and universities launched the American Talent Initiative (ATI)—a national project to increase by 50,000 the number of high-achieving, low- and moderate-income students enrolled in the 270 colleges and universities with the highest graduation rates. In this session, participants will have the opportunity to hear from ATI leaders about the work of the initiative, what's been learned through its practice-sharing community, and new research it has produced on replicable practices in expanding college pipelines for lower-income students. Participants will discuss and inform this research and take away key insights into how higher education leaders, community colleges, access programs, and K–12 educators can work together to expand college opportunity.