Joseph Ecker is Professor of Mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy NY. Dr. Ecker received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1968 and then joined RPI where he has served as Chair of the Interdisciplinary Program in Operations Research (1977-1982), Chair of the Mathematical Sciences Department (1984-1994), and Dean of the Lally School of Management and Technology (1997-2001). He has received several teaching awards including the Rensselaer Outstanding Teacher Award (1994), the Boeing Outstanding Educator Award (1995), the Hesberg Award for Innovation in Undergraduate Education (1995), and the Pew Charitable Trusts Leadership Award for Renewal of Undergraduate Education (1996). Dr. Ecker has been a visiting professor at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne Switzerland. He has been a visiting lecturer at many international institutions including at the Hungarian Academy of Science in Budapest, ETH in Zurich Switzerland, Oxford University England, and Imperial College England.
Dr. Ecker’s research specializations are in the areas of optimization and operations research with emphasis on applications in business and industry. He has served as an Associate Editor for the Operations Research Journal and as an Editor for the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Review journal. He has published many research papers as well as research papers involving his work in interactive learning. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and has had 24 doctoral students finish their PhD dissertations under his guidance. Dr. Ecker developed the first studio calculus course at RPI where students work on projects that help them discover important concepts instead of just listening and watching a lecturer talk about the concepts