F. R. "Buck" McMorrisDepartment of Applied Mathematics, Department of Computer Science
The professional life of Professor F.R. "Buck" McMorris began in 1969 when he was awarded a Ph.D. in mathematics (abstract algebra) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Earlier, he received a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Beloit College and a Master of Arts in mathematics from the University of California, Riverside.
In 1971, he accepted a two-year National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellowship in biomathematics at North Carolina State University. Since then, he has worked primarily in the area of applied mathematics, using discrete mathematics to solve problems in biology, data analysis, voting theory and location theory. He has published more than 120 research papers and four books while obtaining significant grant funds from the Office of Naval Research.
McMorris spent 15 years at the University of Louisville, where he was assistant vice president for research, a Distinguished University Scholar, and professor of mathematics. He led a university initiative to create a high-profile interdisciplinary Logistics and Distribution Institute, for which he served as acting director for one year. He also held an associate appointment in the Department of Industrial Engineering. During the 1980s, he served as chair of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Louisville, and as Scientific Officer for discrete mathematics at the Office of Naval Research.
In 1999, he joined IIT as chair of the Applied Mathematics Department, where he developed new applied mathematics degree programs and increased the department's research activities. He was named dean of the College of Science and Letters in 2003, a position held until his retirement in 2008.
Early in his career, McMorris was a mathematics professor at Bowling Green State University. He also held visiting appointments at Rutgers University, Clemson University, University of South Carolina, University of Central Florida, and Erasmus University Rotterdam.