Rice mathematician recognized for leadership, mentoring
HOUSTON, March 31, 2005 -- The editors of Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology magazine have selected Rice University's Richard Tapia for the prestigious 50 Most Important Hispanics in Technology and Business list for 2005. Honorees are chosen for the annual list because of their outstanding work in the field of technology and for their institutional leadership.
Tapia is the Noah Harding Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics, associate director of graduate studies and director of Rice's Center for Excellence and Equity in Education. He has received dozens of awards, both for his many contributions to the field of applied mathematics and for his extensive efforts to mentor and encourage minority and female students to pursue careers in mathematics, science, and engineering.
The Top 50 list includes many of the nation's highest-achieving Hispanic executives, managers and researchers in industry, government and academia. Honorees have demonstrated leadership on a broad front, not only in the workplace but in their communities as well. Throughout 2005, honorees will be presented to young people as role models, and their accomplishments will be upheld as examples of the important daily contributions made by thousands of Hispanics in technology-related jobs.
Tapia's mentoring has twice earned White House recognition, first with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring and with a 1996 appointment to the National Science Board.
Tapia's recent honors include distinguished service awards from both the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and the American Mathematics Society (AMS). In 2001, the Association for Computing Machinery and Computing Research Association in cooperation with IEEE-Computer Science co-sponsored "Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Symposium" which honors the contributions of Professor Tapia to the growth of diversity in computing and related disciplines. In 2000, the "Blackwell-Tapia Conference" was established by Cornell University and honors David Blackwell and Richard Tapia who inspired a generation of African-American, Native-American and Latino/Latina students to go into Mathematics. It is scheduled for even years with The Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Symposium scheduled for odd years. Tapia received the Lifetime Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998.
The 50 Most Important Exemplars will gather Sept. 16 in Baltimore for a colloquium and awards dinner where they will discuss ways to increase minority entrepreneurship, executive development and educational readiness for the digital economy. The event will be the high point of the Minorities in Research Sciences Conference, the premier career development and employee recognition event for minorities in the areas of research science and technology.
Honorees also will be featured in the April/May issue of Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology magazine, which is distributed to engineering colleges and universities with high Hispanic enrollments; Hispanic - engineering, IT, and science professionals; and high-level government and industry policy makers and executives across the country.
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