Danielle Williams got interested in mathematics after getting a C in her 7th grade algebra class. It was the first time that she had ever had to work hard at understanding the structure of a subject. While at university, she completed a math education major, a Spanish minor, and a post-baccalaureate certificate. During the summer of her junior year, Danielle participated in a group research project at NC State University, focused on the mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.
The project earned Danielle and her fellow researchers an award at the Joint Math Meetings 2014. This experience allowed Danielle to connect with mathematicians across America and prompted the question, “How do mathematicians of other backgrounds make it through the strenuous process of getting a PhD?” Over time, this evolved into wondering about all of the stories in STEM that went unnoticed. Who were the scientists, tech moguls, engineers, and mathematicians who were marginalized because they didn’t fit a standard of who other people thought they should be? After identifying audio as the most appropriate medium, Danielle decided to host and produce Branching Out, with the hope that it will promote the true diversity of the STEM community.