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Math at top speed: Exploring and breaking myths in the drag racing folklore.

Math Across Campus Lecture:    Friday, May 3, 3:30-4:30pm
Kane Hall 220
Reception to follow

Title:    Math at top speed: exploring and breaking myths
in the drag racing folklore

Speaker:    Richard Tapia, Rice University

Abstract:

In this talk the speaker will identify elementary mathematical frameworks for the study of old and new drag racing beliefs. In this manner some myths are validated, while others are destroyed. The first part of the talk will be a historical account of the development of drag racing and will include several lively videos and pictures depicting the speaker’s involvement in the early days of the sport.

Speaker Bio:

Richard Tapia, 2010 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, University of Nevada, 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 Mathematics 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.

 

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