My name is Dwight Anderson Williams II, PhD, and I’m a mathematician.
What do I do?
My work in research mathematics shares the intersection of representation theory with mathematical physics and includes
- decomposing infinte-dimensional representations of Lie superalgebras
- determining explicit bases for the irreducible summands of a decomposition
- defining families of infinite-dimensional representations of superalgebras
- providing generators and relations of superalgebras arising from mathematical physics, such as reduction algebras.
My work in improving graduate mathematics education includes
- collecting data through storytelling
- engaging storytellers from an orientation aligned with educational literature
- utlizing thematic analysis for dissemination of lived experiences with respect to anonymity
- writing counternarratives to illuminate both challenges to and advances in the creation of equity-based mathematical spaces/departments which center students of color
My current position is funded through NSF ECR-EHR Core Research Grant #1920753 titled Studying Successful Doctoral Students within Mathemathcs from Underrepresented Groups. under the supervision of Principal Investigator Michael Young.
Two of my long-term collaborators are Jonas Hartwig and Dimitar Grantcharov, the former being my postdocotral research mentor at Iowa State University and the latter being my My PhD advisor at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Prior to UTA, I earned a master’s degree in mathematics from The Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Florida A&M University.
Note: There is a dictionary on Lie superalgebras!
But who am I?
As a researcher, it is scholarly diligence that implores me to understand my efforts in societal and historical contexts. As a Black man, this awareness is paramount to surivival. I have to ultimately die a Black person, and so I should live as one, too: to me, the mathematician, this means I must do mathematics and teach people about mathematics with the direction of a mission-inspired claim, with the compass of a regularly calibrated axiomatic practice, and with the recording of helpful landmarks and reminders.
By the blessings of Blackness, I am joyfully who I am in the face of oppression:
to center students of color and to uplift Black communities;
in the building of mathematical homes and in the tearing down of oppressive traps;
as a communing member of professional mathematicians and as a disseminator of mathematical scholarship;
*I surround myself with good leaders and stay active in constructive networks.
*I admit when evidence belies my claim and take time to address a talk unaligned with the walk.
*I accept that a mission without preparation, dedication, reflection, and correction is, indeed, a work to harm.
*I utilize my positionality and privilege to grow in the direction of liberation for all.
*I work as a part of a collective to be aware of the needs of individuals/groups to thrive within and outside of mathematics.
*I stand accountable for my own personal and professional progress.
I make decisions; I do not control my consequences.
develop discernment and vet potential impact by listening and learning
I serve students; they do not owe me.
time and energy invested is a cost of my talents and circumstance, not a student’s receipt
institutions: pay me
I do amazing mathematics; I connect with more amazing people.