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Mary Wheeler

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Name  Mary Wheeler
Children  Hannah Lightfoot
Fields  Numerical analysis

Education  Rice University
Role  Mathematician
Awards  Noether Lecture
Mary Wheeler httpssciencenodeorgimgimagesmarywheelerjpg
Born  December 28, 1938 (age 77) Cuero, Texas (1938-12-28)
Institutions  Rice University University of Houston University of Texas
Alma mater  University of Texas(BS, BA, MA) Rice University(PhD)
Thesis  A Priori L2 Error Estimates for Galerkin Approximations to Parabolic Partial Differential Equations (1971)
Doctoral advisor  Henry H. Rachford, Jr. Jim Douglas, Jr.
People also search for  Hannah Lightfoot, Matthew Lightfoot, Issac Axford

Mary wheeler interpore timecapsule

Mary Fanett Wheeler (born December 28, 1938) is an American mathematician. She is known for her work on numerical methods for partial differential equations, including domain decomposition methods. In 2009 she was awarded the Theodore von Kármán Prize by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).


Mary wheeler

Personal background

Mary Fanett Wheeler was born on December 28, 1938, in Cuero, Texas. She earned a double major in social sciences and mathematics from the University of Texas in 1960, and a Masters degree in 1963. She did her masters thesis on the Peaceman-Rachford method, and later went on to do her Ph.D. under Rachford at Rice University in 1971.

Professional background

Wheeler studies finite element analysis and porous media problems with applications in engineering, oil-field exploitation, and the cleaning up of environmental pollution. Her early work consisted of fundamental contributions to finite element methods and numerical analysis. She then moved into porous media problems, using her numerical expertise to study problems in the oil industry such as managing oil-field extraction. She also studies environmental problems such as cleaning up underground reservoirs, spills of toxic waste, and carbon dioxide sequestration. In addition, Wheeler has worked with the United States Army Corps of Engineers on environmental impact in the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, and Florida Bay.

On the matter of pure versus applied math, Wheeler has been noted to say "To me it is important to see your work used. I do abstract things as well, and I don't know if I will live to see them applied."

Wheeler worked at the Rice University from 1971 to 1995, with a two-year hiatus at University of Houston from 1988-90. In 1995 she moved to the University of Texas at Austin where she serves as the director of the Center for Subsurface Modeling at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. She is a Professional Engineer registered with the State of Texas, 1999. In 1989, she gave the prestigious Noether Lecture for the Association for Women in Mathematics in Phoenix, Arizona. Her talk was titled "Large Scale Modeling of Problems Arising in Flow in Porous Media".


  • Noether Lecture (1989)
  • Theodore von Kármán Prize (2009)
  • Humboldt Prize (2011)
  • Memberships

  • Fellow, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers
  • Fellow, International Association for Computational Mechanics
  • National Academy of Engineering
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • References

    Mary Wheeler Wikipedia

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