Occidental College Professor of Mathematics Ron Buckmire has been named a 2023 Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the world’s largest professional association devoted to applied mathematics.
SIAM Fellows are nominated by their peers for their exemplary research and outstanding service to the discipline of applied mathematics and computational science. Buckmire is one of a handful of Black mathematicians and the first mathematician from a liberal arts college to have received this international honor.
“I’m extremely honored to be named a 2023 SIAM Fellow. As an applied mathematician, SIAM has been my 'home' organization since I was in graduate school, so this recognition is extremely meaningful to me,” Buckmire said. “As SIAM’s vice president for equity, diversity, and inclusion, I am very aware of how few people with my background (as a Black gay man at a primarily teaching institution like Occidental) are on the prestigious list of SIAM Fellows.”
Buckmire, who has combined a productive research career with passionate advocacy for broadening the participation of historically excluded groups (especially LGBTQ+ individuals and racial/ethnic minorities) in mathematics and other STEM disciplines, was named SIAM's first-ever vice president for equity, diversity, and inclusion in 2020.
At Occidental, Buckmire is a co-principal investigator for the successful Creating Opportunities in Science and Mathematics for Occidental Students (COSMOS) program, designed to address the national shortage of STEM graduates by recruiting underrepresented and academically talented first-year students. He was also instrumental in securing Occidental’s participation in the Inclusive Excellence 3 initiative by Howards Hughes Medical Institute to build institutional capacity for the inclusion of all students in undergraduate STEM education.
Buckmire has served on multiple committees to promote diversity in mathematics at national organizations such as the Committee on Minority Participation in Mathematics at the Mathematical Association of America and the Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the American Mathematical Society. He is a co-founder and member of the board of directors of Spectra, an organization for LGBT mathematicians.
In 2011-13 and 2016-18, he served as lead program director of the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program. A member of the Occidental faculty since 1994, he has twice served as chair of the Mathematics Department and was associate dean for curricular affairs and director of the Core Program from 2018-2022.
Buckmire's primary research interests are in numerical analysis, mathematical modeling, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. His most recent research publications involve applications of data science to social justice. He is the co-editor of the book Improving Applied Mathematics Education (Springer Nature, 2021) and has published over two dozen peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reviews in an eclectic collection of outlets such as Data, Notices of the American Mathematical Society, Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations, IMA Journal of Management Mathematics, Works and Days, and the Albany Law Review.