Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Chair of the Mathematics Department
Dr. Jessica Williams joined the department in 2015 as an assistant professor and teaches courses across the mathematics curriculum. Since her arrival at Converse, she has taught a wide range of courses, including Number Theory, Geometry, Linear Algebra, Real Analysis, Differential Equations, single and multivariable calculus, and Elementary Functions. She also designed and taught a special topics course on mathematical modeling in biology. In 2017 Dr. Williams became chair of the Mathematics & Computer Science department.
Dr. Williams is a 2015-2016 Mathematical Association of America Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) fellow. As part of this program, she attended and organized mathematics education workshops at three national mathematics conferences. In particular, she is passionate about teaching with inquiry-based learning methods and has given presentations on her experiences designing inquiry-based courses at a number of regional and national conferences.
As a doctoral student, Dr. Williams completed a dissertation in ring theory, a sub-field of abstract algebra. She has since published an article in the journal Communications in Algebra. The current primary research interest of Dr. Williams is using graph theory to study self-assembly of DNA nanostructures, a project she began while attending a program at the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics at Brown University. She enjoys mentoring undergraduate research projects and bringing students along to conferences. Dr. Williams also has interest in research that explores the effectiveness of various teaching methods in the classroom.
Before arriving at Converse, Dr. Williams earned her PhD and MS in mathematics from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa and a BA in mathematics from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. At the University of Iowa, she was recognized with an Outstanding Teaching Assistant award and served as chair of the math graduate board.
In her free time, Dr. Williams enjoys devouring fiction, practicing yoga, learning new recipes, and exploring the Carolinas. Her mathematical hero is Emmy Noether.