I have been the director of IPAM’s RIPS Program since its beginning in 2001. My work in industry and academia as an applied mathematician and manager have helped me shape RIPS to be a challenging and successful experience for hundreds of participants.
I received my PhD in math from Stanford University. I have worked on math and computer applications in research laboratories at Stanford University, US Geological Survey and Hewlett-Packard. I have served as chief scientist and acting director of the Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science. I cofounded a Silicon Valley startup, focusing on organizing and indexing resources on the Internet, using digital library and metadata principles. I was professor of mathematics and director of the Math Clinic (immediate ancestor of RIPS) at Harvey Mudd College until my retirement in 2006. Working as a mathematician in such diverse environments has shown me the importance of good communication, teamwork, efficiency, disciplined reporting and scheduling, all of which I emphasize at RIPS, in addition to solving the tough applied math problems posed by industrial sponsors.
UCLA is a wonderful venue for the RIPS program. I was an undergraduate at UCLA, where as a freshman I placed fourteenth on the Putnam Exam. After my freshman year I took a year off to work on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, then resumed studies but each summer afterward returned to the farm. I lived in Dykstra Hall and kept bees in the horticulture compound near where the Sunset Canyon swimming pool is on campus today.
IPAM does the good work of recruiting and supporting participants, so students interested in participating in RIPS should apply directly to IPAM. I am frequently asked to provide references for RIPS participants and am happy to do so. To get in touch or to find out more about my interests, see www.mikeraugh.org.