Tiffani Williams selected as 2012 Pop Tech Science Fellow

Photo of Dr. Tiffani WilliamsDr. Tiffani Williams, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been selected as a Pop Tech Science Fellow: Class of 2012.

She is recognized for her creation of new algorithmic tools that will help to reconstruct the Tree of Life, which illustrates the evolutionary relationships of the world's species. Working with a multidisciplinary team, Williams said she hopes to produce the first Open Tree of Life, an all-inclusive tree with 1.8 million species that will ultimately provide a new perception of life's dissimilarity and its significance to global health.

Williams earned her B.S. in computer science from Marquette University and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Central Florida. Before joining the Texas A&M faculty in 2005, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico. Since 2008 Williams is also an affiliate faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Research Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Texas A&M. Honors include a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a McKnight Doctoral Fellowship. Her research interests are computational biology, phylogenetic tree inference, high-performance computing, experimental performance studies of algorithms, and reproducible research.

Pop Tech is a leadership development organization that brings together innovators, corporate partners, and thought leaders through conferences and other events to explore issues, trends, technologies and challenges in shaping the future of the world's business economies and societies. The Science Fellows program selects 10 to 12 researchers annually who have in common a passion and commitment to innovation in their fields of research. The 2012 fellows will meet in October to participate in a special training program prior to their attendance at the PopTech Camden 2012 conference.