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Iris Mack grew up in the Calliope Projects in New Orleans in a family of ten. She became interested in space and astrophysics as a teenager and worked as a summer intern at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility. Mack attended Vassar College, where she graduated with a double major in mathematics and mathematical physics in 1978. While an undergraduate she interned at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Physical Properties Team for the Mars probe Viking program. She attended UCLA for her masters degree in mathematics and worked as a research fellow at AT&T Bell Labs, where she received a patent for her work with Harrison E. Rowe and Ronald V. Schmidt in fiber optics. As a Sloan Fellow she attended the London Business School and earned an executive MBA. In 1986, she became the second black woman to receive a doctorate in applied mathematics from Harvard University. From 1988 to 1991 she taught applied mathematics, financial engineering, statistics, and operations research at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In 1989 she was a semifinalist for the NASA Astronaut Program.
Mack lectures and consults on energy derivatives, quantitative finance and high-frequency trading for the Fitch 7City Certificate of Quantitative Finance Program in New York City, Fitch 7City Corporate Finance Consulting Group in Singapore and The Terrapinn Group in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and London. In 2010 and 2011 she wrote a number of articles for the Huffington Post including "Bob Rubin Just Wants to Be Cuddled" where she describes her relationship with Bob Rubin in 2007 and 2008 during the financial crisis while he was Chairman and "Senior Counselor" at Citigroup. She currently lectures at the graduate level on energy trading and risk management at the Freeman School of Business.
She also serves on the boards of the United States National Research Council's Transportation Research Board, the Edwin Moses Global Institute, the AlgoAnalytics Trading and Financial Analytics (India), MarketExpress Financial News and Research (India), the Women Mentor Women Foundation and the I Can Still Do That Foundation.
Mack founded Phat Math Inc. in Miami, Florida in 2003. A few years later in 2007 she and her colleagues at Phat Math launched their prototype mathematics edutainment social network PhatMath.com. Students in grades K-12 and College have access to free 24/7 online math homework help on PhatMath.com, which was named one of the Top 50 Social Sites for Educators and Academics and 25 Useful Networking Sites for Grad Students.[by whom?] As of November 2016, PhatMath.com's website is not functioning.
She has been an astronaut semifinalist, one of Glamour Magazine’s “Top 10” college students, one of Glamour’s “Top 10” working women, an investment banker, an Enron Energy Trader and an MIT professor. In addition, she was the second African-American female to earn a doctorate in Applied Mathematics from Harvard. Later she became a mathematics and business school professor, while simultaneously running a consulting firm.
- Energy Trading and Risk Management: A Practical Approach to Hedging, Trading and Portfolio Diversification, ISBN 978-1118339336
- Mama says, "Money Doesn't Grow on Trees!", ISBN 978-1413408911
- Mama says, "Money Doesn't Grow on Trees!": World of Dr. Mackamatix Mathematics Edutainment Book, ISBN 978-1456502904
- Convergence analysis of block implicit one-step methods for solving differential/algebraic equations, ISBN 978-1175753960
- Generalized Picard-Lindelf theory, ISBN 978-1178750638
- Wenzel, Robert (4 May 2010). "Why the Iris Mack Tell-All about Former-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin Is More Trouble for Former -Treasury Secretary Larry Summers". Economic Policy Journal. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
- "Iris Mack Bio". http://www.math.buffalo.edu/. Retrieved 2014-05-02. External link in
- Dawson, Lindsay (Fall 2005). "Equation for Success". Vassar The Alumnae/i Quarterly (Vol 101 (4)). Vassar College. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
- Mack, Iris M.; Rowe, Harrison E.; Schmidt, Ronald V. (1981). "Power divider with randomly varying incremental power transfer". Google Patent Search. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
- "Iris Mack Bio". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/. "Huffington Post". Retrieved 2014-05-02. External link in
- "Dr. Iris Mack". CQF. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- "Corporate and finance division". Fitchlearning.com. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- "Dr. Iris Mack". Terrapinntraining.com. Retrieved 2014-02-05.