Talitha Washington

Visiting Scholar to Present Data Science for Social Justice

- Gulick Auditorium

St. Lawrence University's chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society will sponsor a presentation by Visiting Scholar Talitha Washington, president of the Association for Women in Mathematics and director of the National Data Science Alliance.

Washington, who holds a Ph.D. in mathematics with a specialization in applied mathematics, has designed her presentation, "Data Science for Social Justice," for a general audience and will illustrate how data science impacts every facet of society: from marketing to finance to facial recognition to medical care. What happens if data science develops technology that amplifies societal biases and blatant racism? Washington will share her vision of how everyone can contribute to bringing true validity to data science.

During her time at St. Lawrence, Washington will also join two classes, including "Math and Social Justice" and "Foundations of Data Science."  Data science, a rapidly growing field that touches the lives of billions around the globe each day, was added as a major at St. Lawrence in 2021. Graduates of this popular major will be well-equipped to tackle the biggest problems and questions facing our society today.

Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) was established in 1776 to recognize and honor outstanding academic achievement, particularly in the liberal arts. The Lambda chapter at St. Lawrence University was established in 1899.

Visiting Scholar Program Logo

"We are proud of our long history with Phi Beta Kappa and its Visiting Scholar program brings some of today's most accomplished researchers and teachers to college campuses for a stimulating exchange of ideas and insights," says President Kathryn A. Morris, who is also a PBK member. "We are looking forward to welcoming Dr. Washington to St. Lawrence, and to learning more about her efforts to expand data science education and diversify the data science workforce."

Washington's achievements extend to her leadership as the inaugural director of the Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative and Professor of Mathematics at Clark Atlanta University. She is the recipient of the 2019 BEYA STEM Innovator Award, the 2019 Outstanding Faculty Award from Howard University, and the 2020 NSF Director's Award for Superior Accomplishment. She also has affiliations with Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College.