Richard A. Tapia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Richard A. Tapia
Dr. Tapia.jpg
Born (1938-03-25) March 25, 1938 (age 84)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.)
Known forMathematical optimization
AwardsPresidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, National Medal of Science
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics
InstitutionsRice University
ThesisA Generalization of Newton's Method with an Application to the Euler-Lagrange Equation
Doctoral advisorMagnus Hestenes
Charles Brown Tompkins
Doctoral studentsJorge Nocedal

Richard Alfred Tapia (born March 25, 1938) is an American mathematician and University Professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas, the university's highest academic title.[1][2] In 2011, President Obama awarded Tapia the National Medal of Science.[3] He is currently the Maxfield and Oshman Professor of Engineering; Associate Director of Graduate Studies, Office of Research and Graduate Studies; and Director of the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education at Rice University.[4]

Tapia's mathematical research is focused on mathematical optimization and iterative methods for nonlinear problems. His current research is in the area of algorithms for constrained optimization and interior point methods for linear and nonlinear programming.

Biography[edit]

Tapia was born in Santa Monica, California to parents, Amado and Magda, who both emigrated to the United States from Mexico.[5] His father worked for Japanese American horticulturists in southern California.[6]

Education[edit]

He received his B.A. in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1961. He then earned his M.A. in mathematics, also from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1966.

He received his Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles, 1967 in mathematics with the dissertation: "A Generalization of Newton's Method with an Application to the Euler–Lagrange Equation"[7] under the advisors: Magnus Hestenes, Charles Tompkins[8]

University positions[edit]

  • 1968–1970: Assistant Professor, Army Mathematics Research Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 1970–1972: Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Rice University
  • 1972–1976: Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Rice University
  • 1976–present: Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Rice University
  • 1978–1983: Chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Rice University
  • 1978–1983: Adjunct Professor, T.I.R.R., (then called the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research) Baylor College of Medicine
  • 1986–1988: Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine
  • 1989–2000:Director of Education and Outreach Programs, Center for Research on Parallel Computation, Rice University
  • 1989–present: Associate Director of Graduate Studies, Office of Research and Graduate Studies, Rice University
  • 1991–2005: Noah Harding Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University
  • 1999–present: Director, Center for Excellence and Equity in Education, Rice University
  • 2000–present: Adjunct Professor, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Houston
  • 2005–present: Maxfield and Oshman Professor of Engineering, Rice University
  • 2005–present: University Professor, Rice University

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, 2021[9]
  • AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science, 2016.
  • Vannevar Bush Award, 2014
  • National Medal of Science, 2011.
  • Hispanic Heritage Award in Math and Science, September 2009.[10]
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession, Portland OR, July 2004.[11]
  • Community Service Award, University of California Los Angeles Alumni Association, Los Angeles, California, May 2004.
  • Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology Magazine, "One of the 50 Most Important Hispanics in Technology and Business" April 2004.
  • Distinguished Public Service Award, American Mathematical Society, Phoenix, Arizona, January 2004.
  • Texas Science Hall of Fame Inductee, Institute of Texan Cultures, University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, January 2002.
  • Reginald H. Jones Distinguished Service Award, NACME, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, October 2001.
  • Distinguished Scientist Award, Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, October 2000.
  • 1999 Giants in Science Award, Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network, Washington, D.C., February 1999.
  • 1997 Lifetime Mentor Award, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 1998.
  • Recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., September 1996.
  • Appointed to the National Science Board by President Clinton, August 1996.
  • National Academy of Engineering, February 1992.
  • Was chosen to have a "Celebration of Diversity in Computing" [conference][12] named after him (usually held annually or biennially[13]).


The Blackwell-Tapia prize and conference are named for Tapia and David Blackwell. Tapia also holds honorary doctorates from Carnegie Mellon University and the Colorado School of Mines.[14]

Bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Thompson, James R.; Tapia, Richard A. (1990). Nonparametric function estimation, modeling, and simulation. Philadelphia: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. ISBN 0898712610.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Award #0634516 — Empowering Leadership: Computing Scholars of Tomorrow". National Science Foundation. March 1, 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-06. Tapia is the Principal investigator on a $2 million NSF grant (2007-2010) addressing networking for a "minority student or faculty at a majority institution".
  2. ^ "Tapia promoted to University Professor: Hispanic pioneer earns university's top academic title" (Press release). Rice University. October 14, 2005.
  3. ^ "Twelve Researchers Take Home Top Medals". Science Insider. September 28, 2011. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  4. ^ "Richard A. Tapia — Brief Bio". Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University.
  5. ^ "Richard Tapia - Biography". Maths History. Retrieved 5 March 2022.
  6. ^ Hispanic Engineer & IT. Career Communications Group. 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  7. ^ Megginson, Robert E. (December 8, 2002). "Arlie Petters Is First Recipient of Blackwell-Tapia Prize". SIAM News. Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  8. ^ "Richard Tapia". Mathematics Genealogy Project. Retrieved November 15, 2008.
  9. ^ 2021 Class of Fellows of the AMS, American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2020-11-02
  10. ^ "22nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards to Honor Latino Leaders During Star-Studded Ceremony on Capitol Hill" (PDF). Hispanic Heritage Awards. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 December 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  11. ^ "Societies: The SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service". The MacTutor History of Mathematics. University of St. Andrews.
  12. ^ See the older [2009] version of << "Archives of Previous Tapia Celebration Websites". Archived from the original on March 27, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2009. >> ... (which might contain some info that is more complete than [or otherwise different from] newer versions of the ["archive" listing of] << "Previous Tapia Conferences". Archived from the original on October 8, 2018. Retrieved June 12, 2019. >> on the "ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing" web site.)
  13. ^ See also http://tapiaconference.org/ ... which is the home page of the current (next or most recent) "ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing" web site.
  14. ^ Newton, David E. (14 May 2014). Latinos in Science, Math, and Professions. Infobase Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4381-0786-8.

External links[edit]