PULLMAN, Wash. — “No Child Left Behind,” the theme of the national education agenda, is the subject of the annual Philip C. Holland Lecture at Washington State University Thursday, Feb. 7.

Richard Tapia, a nationally noted advocate for minority education and professor of mathematics at Rice University in Houston, Texas, will deliver the lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Kimbrough Auditorium on the Pullman campus.

“Much has been made of Texas’ K-12 educational achievements – even to the point that its system has recently been implemented as a national model,” said Tapia, who has been involved with the Texas public schools for over 30 years. “What are the challenges to the nation to meet its daring goal of ‘no child left behind’? What about closing the minority/majority gap? What are the strengths and weaknesses of our traditional evaluation system as it concerns underrepresented groups? What is the impact of the digital divide?”

Tapia is the Noah Harding Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Rice. Born in Los Angeles to parents who immigrated from Mexico, he received his doctoral degree in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1967. While he is a respected contributor to nonlinear mathematics, Tapia is even more widely recognized as an advocate for minority math education. Under Tapia’s leadership, his department at Rice has become a national leader in producing women and underrepresented minority doctoral recipients in the mathematical sciences.

His recent honors include being named Distinguished Scientist by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science and a Lifetime Mentor by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. President Clinton appointed Tapia to the National Science Board and awarded him the 1996 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Tapia was Hispanic Engineer of the Year for Hispanic Engineer Magazine and the first native-born Hispanic inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. The National Research Council named him one of the 20 most influential leaders in minority math education in 1990.

The Holland Lecture is an annual event established by Washington State College President Ernest O. Holland (1916-1944) in the name of his father, an Indiana physician. This year the lecture is hosted by the College of Sciences.