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.
Friday Lunch Speaker
Maree Sneed is recognized in the education industry as a lawyer who helps school districts, independent schools, educational institutions, and educational companies solve their most complex problems. She will talk about the legal landscape for STEM Schools at lunch on Friday, Nov. 9.
For three decades, clients have sought Maree's advice as a result of her experience working in the education system, her legal acumen, her public policy work, and her ability to make connections between the education and legal arenas.
Maree has advised clients in the education sector on a broad range of issues, including social media, bullying and cyberbullying, harassment, sex and race discrimination, English language learners, and magnet schools. She also advises on privacy, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; special education/IDEA; equitable access and opportunities; integration and desegregation; school facilities; contracts; Title IX, Title VI, and 504 compliance; and charter schools.
Maree has provided regulatory advice to clients and litigated cases for clients in state courts as well as federal, district, and appellate courts. Maree and her team worked on two important Supreme Court cases involving school districts — Schafer v. Weast and PICs v. Seattle School District No. 1. Maree has also represented school districts in Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations and negotiated voluntary resolution agreements.
Prior to attending law school at Georgetown University Law Center, Maree was a high school teacher, secondary principal, and assistant principal in Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools. She has a masters and doctorate in education. For many years, she taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Currently she is a member of the Magnet Schools of America Board of Directors. Maree has served on the Board of the Council of School of Attorneys and on the Board of the National School Boards Foundation.