Carnegie Mellon University
November 18, 2021

Mathematician Irene Fonseca Elected European Academy of Sciences Fellow

By Emily Payne

Jocelyn Duffy
  • Associate Dean for Communications, MCS

Carnegie Mellon Kavčić-Moura University Professor of Mathematics Irene Fonseca has been elected as a fellow of the European Academy of Sciences (EurASc). EurASc is an independent international association of distinguished scholars that recognizes and elects prominent European scientists with an aim to strengthen science and scientific cooperation, both within Europe and internationally. Fellows also bring their expertise to the organization to advise other European bodies on research, technology and social development.

Fonseca joined the CMU faculty in 1987. She is the director of the university’s Center for Nonlinear Analysis (CNA). One of the few centers in the United States to receive significant federal funding for research in applied mathematics, the CNA focuses on research, education and training in applied mathematics at the intersection of math and the physical sciences and engineering. She also directs the Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) project, a National Science Foundation-funded, multi-institution initiative that addresses issues in applied mathematics and mechanics arising from materials science.

A leading researcher in the field of applied mathematics, Fonseca’s work lies at the interface of applied analysis with materials and imaging sciences. She focuses on the mathematical study of a variety of novel man-made materials, including ferroelectric, magnetic and magnetostrictive materials, shape memory alloys, composites and liquid crystals. She also studies the variational analysis of denoising, detexturing, inpainting and recolorization in computer vision.

Fonseca is widely recognized for her achievements in applied mathematics. 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. In 1997, she was bestowed knighthood in Portugal’s Military Order of St. James. She is a fellow of SIAM and the American Mathematical Society.

At Carnegie Mellon, Fonseca received the endowed Mellon College of Science Professorship in 2003. In 2014, she was named a University Professor, the highest distinction that can be bestowed on a professor at the university. And in 2018, she was appointed a Kavčić-Moura Professorship, designed to provide sustained, long-term support for scholars across the university whose breakthroughs and discoveries have the potential to impact the world where human life and technology meet.