Rice educator to receive top U.S. honor

September 27, 2011 7:48:00 AM PDT
A Rice educator is one of seven people nationwide who will be awarded the National Medal of Science by President Obama.

Richard A. Tapia of Rice University will be recognized at a White House ceremony later this year as one of the recipients of the National Medal of Science, which is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists, engineers and inventors.

According to a press release, Tapia was recognized, "For his pioneering and fundamental contributions in optimization theory and numerical analysis and for his dedication and sustained efforts in fostering diversity and excellence in mathematics and science education."

The National Medal of Science was created in 1959 and administered by National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes people making outstanding contributions to science and engineering.

Others receiving the award will be Jacqueline K. Barton of California Institute of Technology, Ralph L. Brinster of the University of Pennsylvania, Shu Chien of the University of California, San Diego, Rudolf Jaenisch with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Peter J. Stang of the University of Utah and Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan of New York University

"Each of these extraordinary scientists, engineers, and inventors is guided by a passion for innovation, a fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge, and a desire to make the world a better place," President Obama said in a release.

The National Medal of Science will be presented in a ceremony later this year.

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