United States Air Force Academy

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Colonel Scott E. Williams

Vice Dean of Faculty

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Colonel Scott E. Williams
Contact Information

(719) 333-8538

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Bio

Colonel Scott E. Williams is the Vice Dean of the Faculty and the Permanent Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado. He assists the Dean in commanding the 750-member Dean of Faculty mission element, overseeing the annual design and instruction of more than 500 undergraduate courses for 4,200 cadets across 32 academic disciplines, directing the operation of five support staff agencies, and managing faculty resources involving more than $350 million.

Prior to this position, Colonel Williams was Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and Chair of the Basic Sciences Division at the Academy. As the former, he led 48 faculty and staff delivering a world-class undergraduate mathematics education while administering the mathematics major and co-administered the operations research and data science majors. As the latter, he represented the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics with 120 faculty responsible for four disciplinary and three interdisciplinary majors.

Colonel Williams was commissioned in 1991 as an ROTC graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. He also holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Applied Mathematics from North Carolina State University and is a distinguished graduate of the United States Naval War College. As an Air Force Operations Research Analyst, Colonel Williams has performed in a variety of roles across acquisition, operational and MAJCOM staff, and academia. He also served in deputy group command, deployed as an advisor to the fledgling National Military Academy of Afghanistan, and led Misawa Air Base disaster response, recovery, and evacuation efforts during Operations Tomodachi and Pacific Passage. Colonel Williams is a seven-year member of the Scientist (61X) Development Team. Prior to his current tour at the Air Force Academy, Colonel Williams was the Air Force Chief Analyst on the Air Staff at the Pentagon.

Colonel Williams is married to the former Tara Joy Lipton of Blaine, Washington. Together, they have five children: Madison, Bailey, Travis, Delaney, and Qin.

Education

Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1991)

Master of Science, Applied Mathematics, North Carolina State University (1998)

Ph.D., Applied Mathematics, North Carolina State University (2003)

Master of Arts, National Security and Strategic Studies, United States Naval War College (2013)

Professional Experience

June 1992–July 1992, student, Acquisition Fundamentals, Lowry Air Force Base, Colo.

July 1992–April 1994, Branch Chief, Follow-On Early Warning Systems Program Office, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.

April 1994–May 1995, Systems Engineer, Education with Aerospace, Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif.

May 1995–July 1996, Orbital Operations Manager, Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) Joint Program Office, Los Angeles AFB, Calif.

August 1996–December 1997, graduate student, Department of Mathematics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N. C.

December 1997–July 1999, Instructor, Department of Mathematical Sciences, US Air Force Academy, Colo.

August 1999–December 2002, doctoral candidate, Department of Mathematics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N. C.

January 2003–January 2004, Operations Analysis Branch Chief, Warrior Preparation Center, Einsiedlerhof Air Station, Germany

January 2004–July 2004, Deputy Director, AFEUR/A9 (Operations Analysis), Air Forces Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany

July 2004–November 2005, COMUSAFE Chief Analyst, Commander’s Action Group (CAG), US Air Forces Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany

December 2005–May 2009, Assistant Professor & Calculus Division Chief, Department of Mathematical Sciences, US Air Force Academy, Colo. (May 2008–August 2008, military advisor to the National Military Academy of Afghanistan, Combined Security Transition Command, Kabul, Afghanistan)

June 2009–June 2010, Deputy Head for Academics, Department of Mathematical Sciences, US Air Force Academy, Colo.

June 2010–June 2012, Deputy Commander, 35th Mission Support Group, Misawa Air Base, Japan

July 2012–June 2013, student, US Naval War College, Naval Station Newport, R. I.

July 2013–September 2014, Director, Analyses, Assessments, and Development (AF/A9A) and Air Force Chief Analyst, Air Force Studies & Analyses, Assessments, and Lessons Learned (AF/A9), Pentagon, D. C.

October 2014–July 2016, Air Force Chief Analyst, A9 Office of the Chief Analyst, Air Force Studies, Analyses, and Assessments (AF/A9), Pentagon, D. C.

August 2016–September 2016, Head, Department of Mathematical Sciences, US Air Force Academy, Colo.

September 2016–December 2017, Permanent Professor and Head, Department of Mathematical Sciences, US Air Force Academy, Colo.

January 2018–June 2020, Chair, Basic Sciences Division and Permanent Professor and Head, Department of Mathematical Sciences, US Air Force Academy, Colo.

July 2020–present, Vice Dean of the Faculty and Permanent Professor of Mathematical Sciences, US Air Force Academy, Colo.

Honors & Awards

Legion of Merit

Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster

Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one bronze star

Humanitarian Service Medal

NATO Medal

Research and Scholarly Interests

Numerical Analysis

Numerical Weather Prediction

Data Analytics

Mathematics Pedagogy

Astrodynamics

Publications

“What's the point? The benefits of grading without points” Brilleslyper, M., Ghrist, M., Holcomb, T., Schaubroeck, B., Warner, B., & Williams, S. PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, 22:5, 411-27. August 2012.

“Why Cheating is Wrong” Courtney, M. and Williams, S. Physics Education, Cornell University Library, February 2011.

“USAFA Fundamental Skills Exams – Experiences and Observations” Cullenbine, C. and Williams, S. Contributed presentation to Mathematical Association of America Rocky Mountain Section Annual Meeting, Innovations in Teaching Session, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD. 25-26 April 2008.

“Teaching Differential Calculus Using Discovery Modules” Cullenbine, C. and Williams, S. Contributed presentation to Mathematical Association of America Rocky Mountain Section Annual Meeting, Innovations in Teaching Session, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD. 25-26 April 2008.

“The LAGEOS Satellite: A comprehensive Spin Model and Analysis” Williams, S. , Ph.D. Dissertation, North Carolina State University, December 2002.

“A Prototype Onboard Processor for LEO Control Using a GPS Receiver” Chao, C., Gist, R., Menn, M. and Williams, S. Contributed paper (AAS 95-343) to AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 14-17 August 1995; Proceedings: Advances in the Astronautical Sciences, Vol 90, Part I, 737-749, 1996.

“A Very Accurate Approximation of Geodetic Latitude and Altitude from Geocentric Position” Williams, S. Aerospace Technical Memorandum, ATM 95(5917-66)-4, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA. March 1995.

“Derivative Determinations using Centered Method Finite Differencing”
“Derivative Determinations using Backward Method Finite Differencing”
“Derivative Determinations using Forward Method Finite Differencing”
Williams, S. Aerospace Technical Memorandum, ATM 95(5917-66)-1/2/3, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA. February 1995.