38th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration
"Expanding the Possible"
Richard Tapia, 2011 awardee of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers, is a mathematician in Rice University’s Computational and Applied Mathematics Department. He holds the rank of University Professor, the university’s highest academic title awarded to only six individuals in the university’s history. Among his many other honors is election to the National Academy of Engineering, the first Hispanic to receive this honor, and honorary doctorates from Carnegie Mellon University, Colorado School of Mines, and Claremont Graduate University. Two professional conferences have been named in his honor: the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference and the Blackwell-Tapia Conference. Tapia served on the National Science Board from 1996-2002. Because of his leadership Rice University is recognized as a national leader in the preparation of women and underrepresented minority doctoral degree recipients in science, engineering, and mathematics.