Mellon College of Science University Professor of Mathematics
Director of Center for Nonlinear Analysis
An internationally respected educator and researcher in applied mathematics; Irene Fonseca is the director of Carnegie Mellon's Center for Nonlinear Analysis (CNA). The CNA is one of the few centers in the United States that receives significant federal funding for research in applied mathematics.
In recognition for her contributions to the advancement of research in her area of expertise, Fonseca was bestowed a knighthood in the Military Order of St. James (Grande Oficial da Ordem Militar de Santiago da Espada) by the then-President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, in 1997. For her teaching and research contributions to Carnegie Mellon University, Fonseca was honored with the Mellon College of Science endowed chair in 2003 and named a University Professor in 2014. In 2012, she was elected President of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), one of the largest organizations dedicated to mathematics and computational science in the world.
Irene Fonseca's research program sits at the interface between pure and applied analysis, and is motivated by applications in the physical sciences and engineering. Her recent work is focused on variational techniques as they apply to contemporary problems in materials sciences and computer vision, including the mathematical study of shape memory alloys, ferroelectric and magnetic materials, composites, liquid crystals, thin structures, phase transitions, epitaxy, image segmentation, staircasing and recolorization in computer vision.