CRPC's Richard Tapia Wins QEM Giants in Science Award

CRPC Director of Education & Human Resources Richard Tapia has won the 1999 Giants in Science Award from the Quality Education for Minorities Mathematics, Science, and Engineering (QEM/MSE) Network. Tapia received the award on February 27 at the Eighth Annual National Conference of the QEM/MSE Network in Washington, D.C.

The Giants in Science Award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to research and teaching. Tapia, a Noah Harding Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University, conducts research in computational optimization theory. He has contributed significantly to the algorithmic development and theory of quasi-Newton methods for general nonlinear programming problems. Recently, he and his students have been involved in interior-point methods for linear programming.

Tapia is widely recognized for mentoring and encouraging minority and female students in science and engineering. For a decade, he has established and led CRPC programs such as Spend a Summer with a Scientist, the Mathematical and Computational Sciences Awareness Workshop, GirlTECH, and others. These programs were instrumental in helping Rice obtain a recent National Science Foundation (NSF) Minority Education Grant. ( See "CRPC Minority Education Programs Help Rice Win $2.5 Million Grant.")

Tapia was one of the first recipients of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in 1996 and was appointed by President Clinton to the National Science Board that year. He was named 1996 Hispanic of the Year by Hispanic Engineer Magazine, and in 1998 received the Lifetime Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Tapia currently co-chairs the Education, Outreach, and Training Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (EOT-PACI), a joint venture of the National Computational Science Alliance and the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure, funded by the NSF.

The QEM/MSE Network is a national coalition of higher educational institutions; school districts; and mathematics, science, and education organizations. For more information, see

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