Dr. Jessica Williams, assistant professor of mathematics, is the 2019 SCICU Excellence In Teaching award winner for Converse College. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in mathematics, both from the University of Iowa, and a B.A. in mathematics from Transylvania University.
Dr. Williams joined the Converse faculty in 2015 and currently chairs the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. She has taught 17 different Converse mathematics courses over a wide range of topics.
Dedicated to innovative teaching, Dr. Williams was a 2015-2016 Mathematical Association of America Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) fellow, a program in which she attended and organized mathematics education workshops at several national conferences.
In 2016 Dr. Williams co-authored a peer-reviewed article in the mathematics journal “Communications in Algebra.” Her current research applies graph theory to self-assembling DNA nanostructures. Many Converse students have attended conferences alongside Dr. Williams, often presenting senior capstone and honors thesis projects.
President Krista Newkirk states, “Dr. Williams brings incredible energy to her work. She is dedicated to creating an engaging learning environment where students feel empowered, gain confidence in their abilities, and find a love for complex mathematics.” Provost Jeffrey H. Barker adds, “Dr. Williams is a truly gifted teacher immersed in the content of her discipline as well as in developing cutting-edge teaching models to help students succeed in mathematics. She has revamped the Mathematics program at Converse, led the development of data analytics at the College, and more than doubled the number of Math majors.”