Carnegie Mellon University
January 23, 2024

Fonseca Elected Vice President of American Mathematical Society

By Heidi Opdyke

Heidi Opdyke
  • Interim Director of Communications, MCS
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Irene Fonseca, Kavčić-Moura University Professor of Mathematics and director of the Center for Nonlinear Analysis at Carnegie Mellon University, has been elected a vice president of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) for 2025-2027.

A member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1987, she is an internationally respected educator and researcher in the field of applied mathematics.

"I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to be considered for the vice president role at the AMS, especially during a time when engineering, technology, the sciences, and our society are encountering new and changing challenges," Fonseca said. "The AMS stands at a pivotal moment, ready to facilitate connections and establish new bonds among pure and applied mathematical researchers across academia, industry, and national laboratories. I am enthusiastic about the prospect of strengthening current efforts in this direction and spearheading innovative initiatives as the Vice President of the AMS."

Fonseca is the longtime director of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Nonlinear Analysis, which advances research and educational opportunities at the interface of mathematics, physical sciences and engineering. She develops mathematical tools to understand and predict smart materials and to improve computer vision.

Fonseca has a strong international presence in the mathematics community and has provided extensive dedicated service to the field through her work on advisory and search boards including a research search for NSF Director of Mathematical Sciences.

In 2022, Fonseca received the International Society for the Interaction of Mechanics and Mathematics Senior Prize and delivered a keynote address. In addition, she is also a fellow of AMS, the European Academy of Sciences, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). She served on the Abel Prize committee, which is awarded annually to outstanding mathematicians.

In 2012, she became the second woman to be elected president of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), one of the world's largest organizations dedicated to mathematics and computational science. During her tenure, she increased the number of student SIAM chapters not only in the U.S. but abroad to help broaden the math community.

Fonseca also served as the director of the CMU based multi-university international Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) project, Science at the Triple Point Between Mathematics, Mechanics and Materials Science between 2012-2017. Working with mathematicians in the U.S., Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, the researchers collaborated at the interface of mathematics and materials science to develop sophisticated new methods for understanding the complexities of advanced materials.

In 1997, she was bestowed knighthood in Portugal's Military Order of St. James.

"Irene Fonseca is one of our most distinguished colleagues in Mathematical Sciences commanding high visibility and international stature for several decades," said Prasad Tetali, the Alexander M. Knaster Professor and head of Carnegie Mellon's Department of Mathematical Sciences. "Her election to the vice president of the AMS is a testament to her lifelong commitment to the professional mathematics community. Irene's research mentoring in the Department and the leadership of the Center for Nonlinear Analysis cannot be overstated. I am honored to be her colleague."

The AMS, founded in 1888, furthers the interest of mathematical research and scholarship, serves the national and international community through its publications, meetings, advocacy and other programs.