Dr. Richard Tapia is a mathematician and professor in the Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He is internationally known for his research in the computational and mathematical sciences and is a national leader in education and outreach programs.
Dr. Tapia’s current positions at Rice are University Professor; Maxfield-Oshman Professor in Engineering; and Director of the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education.
Dr. Tapia was born in Los Angeles to parents who, separately, immigrated from Mexico as young teenagers in search of educational opportunities for themselves and for future generations. He was the first in his family to attend college. He received B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from the University of California-Los Angeles.
In 1967, Dr. Tapia joined the Department of Mathematics at UCLA and then spent two years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin. In 1970, he moved to Rice University where he was promoted to associate professor in 1972 and full professor in 1976. He chaired the department from 1978-1983. He is currently an adjunct faculty member of Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Houston.
Dr. Tapia has authored or co-authored two books and over 80 mathematical research papers. He has delivered numerous invited addresses at national and international mathematical conferences and serves on several national advisory boards.