Juan Meza, who graduated with three engineering degrees from Rice and is director of the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation, has been named a fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).
One of 46 fellows inducted as part of the Class of 2021, Meza was recognized for his “contributions to the mathematical profession through leadership at the national level and to scientific computing and applications.”
Meza earned his B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Rice in 1978 and 1979, respectively, and his Ph.D. in computational and applied mathematics in 1986. Before joining the NSF in 2017, he served for six years as a professor of applied mathematics and dean of the School of Natural Sciences at the University of California, Merced.
From 2002 to 2011, Meza was department head and senior scientist for high-performance computing research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Earlier, Meza served for 15 years as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff in Computational Science and Mathematics Research at Sandia National Laboratories.
In 2013, Meza received the Rice Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award and was named to Hispanic Business magazine’s Top 100 Influentials in the science category. Three years earlier he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In his position at the NSF, Meza administers programs with an annual budget exceeding $230 million. The division’s mission is to fund “groundbreaking research in mathematics and statistics, and support education and training in the mathematical sciences.”
Fellows are elected by members of the AMS. The society was formed in 1888 and has more than 30,000 members from 570 institutions worldwide.