Dr. Talitha Washington, an associate professor at Howard University and program director at the National Science Foundation, received the 2019 STEM Innovator Award at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Conference in Washington, DC.
This award is presented to individuals who have made significant advancements in research at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
“I am honored to receive the STEM Innovations Award and for my impact in STEM to be recognized,” Dr. Washington said. “As an applied mathematician, I partner with those in the engineering and the sciences to find deeper understandings of systems. We need diverse minds from various STEM fields to converge so that we can better understand and solve complex problems,” she said.
Take a listen to Dr. Washington talk about big ideas and innovation here.
Dr. Washington holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Spelman College, and master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of Connecticut.
An HBCU graduate and current faculty member, Dr. Washington provides innovative teaching of the applications of mathematics to students in engineering and the sciences via current trends in data and computational sciences. She takes great pride in cultivating opportunities for African Americans in STEM and has served on doctoral dissertation committees of students in both engineering and the sciences.
“My greatest joy comes when I work with students to help them surpass their own expectation,” she said. “I take great pride in educating and being a steward of future scientists and engineers that will impact the grand challenges of the world.”
During Dr. Washington’s first year at the National Science Foundation (NSF), she took on a leadership role to stand up NSF’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program. Her work disseminates best practices on how organizations can cultivate diversity in STEM as well as how students and professionals can successfully navigate STEM careers. By serving in leadership capacities in all the major mathematical professional societies, she translates her values in STEM diversity and creates pathways for underrepresented groups.
In this NSF video “Women History Makers: Talitha Washington” she shares how math didn’t come easy for her, and if not for other amazing women in her life, she might not have become the award-winning mathematician she is today. Click here to view.
Dr. Washington has a distinguished track record in advancing innovation in research, education, and administration. She enjoys developing nonstandard finite difference (NSFD) schemes for various dynamical systems including population models, the Black-Scholes Equation, and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge model.