Nov. 17, 2022 | Engineering & Physics |
During summer 2022, Dr. Will Waldron and Dr. Taylor Williams, professors in the Department of Engineering and Physics, completed their doctoral degrees.
Dr. Waldron graduated from Harding in 2014 with a bachelor’s in mathematics and physics. In summer 2015, he earned a master’s in physics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He worked at Dynetics, Inc. in radiometry and computer vision for five years while working toward his doctorate in physics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He began teaching at Harding in Fall 2019. In August 2022, he defended his dissertation concerning star formation analysis using broadband visible data. Using broadband data from the Hubble Telescope, researchers can constrain stellar mass, age and formation rate within the tails of other galaxies.
In the classroom, Dr. Waldron emphasizes the necessity of faith. He made sacrifices to achieve his doctorate and juggled many responsibilities simultaneously, including family, teaching and graduate work. Prayer is important to him, especially because his life plans were very different from the way things turned out.
Dr. Williams’ dissertation concerned the application of engineering education to machine learning. Using pre-existing and anonymized classroom data from a first-year engineering course, he used a clustering technique developed by one of his committee members to search for distinct patterns in the data. He said that the topic was a combination of many of his interests and passions because it involved technology and education with a combination of classroom data and educational research. He hopes that this technology and research development will expand access to many new opportunities for improving education based on the conclusions of the research.