Pushing Past Barriers: Creating a Cultural Mindset of Data Agency

Talithia Williams (Harvey Mudd College)


The movie "Hidden Figures" brought visibility to the lives of African American women who served as NASA “human computers” in the 1960s, women who dreamed of the impossible in a field where their presence was lacking. When it comes to inspiring the future productivity and innovation of our nation, statistics educators are on the front lines. In this talk, I'll discuss my personal journey as a woman of color in statistics and share ways we can excite public interest in the mathematical sciences, building upon the rich legacy of the Hidden Figures that have come before us. As we shift the fixed cultural mindset around mathematical ability, we can begin conversations that improve public perception of STEM and bring people from all backgrounds into this important work.