Ricardo D. Fierro
Ricardo D. Fierro, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Mathematics, University of California, San Diego
B.S., Mathematics, University of California, Davis
- Associate Dean, College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. 06/12
- Acting Chair of Computer Science and Information Systems. 01/14 to 01/15
- Chair of Mathematics. 03/09 to 06/12
- Professor of Mathematics. 08/03 to present
- Associate Professor of Mathematics. 08/97 to 07/03
- Assistant Professor of Mathematics. 08/92 to 07/97 (with postdoctoral leave, 08/92
- Postdoctoral Fellowship, Depts of Mathematics & Electrical Engineering, UCLA. 08/92
Truly, it is not knowing but learning,
not possessing but acquiring,
not being there but getting there,
which yields the greatest enjoyment.
- Carl Friedrich Gauss, 1808
HSI-STEM grant from the U.S. Dept of Education (2016-2021)
Award Number P031C160078, “Sí Se Puede! To Close the Equity Gap in Engineering Degree
Project Director duties:
- Recruit and hire personnel for the grant.
- Communicate goals and objectives to project and college personnel.
- Lead the weekly Engineering Team meetings.
- Lead and support the Engineering Team, including providing pertinent research literature
to identify “what works,” to plan, develop, implement, assess, and revise initiatives
to meet the goals of the grant:
- Goal 1. Develop innovative degree programs in software engineering and electrical
engineering based on principles of guided pathways that close outcome gaps for Hispanic
and other underserved students;
- Goal 2. Develop a fully articulated engineering curriculum and transfer pathway between
CC partners and CSUSM;
- Goal 3. Build and support an educational ecosystem focused on systematic improvement
and equitable student success and completion through sustainable institutionalization
of evidence-based practices.
- Ensure that the grant activities promote diversity, equity, and inclusiveness to support
the students and create an intentional and sustainable ecosystem that can be modeled
by other departments, including student sense of belonging, early identity as an engineer,
- Monitor the progress of the grant activities toward meeting the goals and objectives
of the grant.
- Attended workshops for Project Directors sponsored by the Department of Education.
- Hired faculty to create sample quizzes and tests for a few gateway courses.
- Participate with the Engineering Team at recruiting activities at CSUSM and partner
- Collaborate with partner 2-year institutions for articulation agreements and guided
transfer pathways, including a retreat and subsequent meetings with faculty.
- The Engineering Team developed an “ecosystem for student success” based on best practices
and the literature which we continue to monitor and improve each year.
- Administer the budget in alignment with the goals and objectives of the grant and
campus and federal guidelines. Includes reviewing and confirming the necessity and
reasonableness of budget requests and authorizing budget expenditures. Includes timely
expenditures and strategically reallocating carry forwards.
- Maintain professional relationship and regular communication with the Department of
Education Program Officer.
- Submit monthly reports to the Program Officer based on synthesizing monthly reports
from members of the engineering team.
- Submit annual reports to the Department of Education Program Officer, resulted in
successful annual renewals of the grant without any concerns or warning flags. Includes
working with campus entities such as Office of Sponsored Projects for grant expenditures
and Institutional Planning & Analysis to secure benchmark data for the reports.
Mind Map on Sense of Belonging. Presented to students participating in the “Empowering Engineers for Success” workshop.
Available at https://bra.in/7vNAmW using the Firefox or Microsoft Edge browser. Topics covered: What It Is; Why It Matters;
Benefits; How to Promote it; High Impact Practices.
Training for new Chairs in CSTEM, 3-day workshops. Towards a job description for Chairs; Dean Speak 101: FTES, WTUs, FTEF; Measuring
faculty workload; Academic calendar and schedule preparation timeline; Procedure for
hiring lecturers; Entitlements: why they are important and how they are earned with
various scenarios; Types of appointments for lecturers, careful consideration, preference
for available temporary work; Periodic evaluation of lecturers; Primary and professional
responsibilities of faculty; Limitation on additional employment; Useful PeopleSoft
data queries and how to access them; Department budget allocation letter, department
IDs, funds types; Budget basics, sample budget report and shadow reconciliation, sample
budget summary by account name and fund manager; Funds from Extended Learning; Guidelines
for the proper use of lottery funds; Guidelines for hiring students and teaching associates;
Position description of academic support coordinators; Classification and qualification
standards for employees; FAQs for reclassification; Advising roles; Cougar Care Network;
Travel approval or prepaid registration form; How lead workers and staff should interact
& How faculty and staff should interact; Staff evaluations; Different types of student
employees and their typical duties.
EXCEL ANALYTICS TOOLS
To democratize data and solve worthwhile problems to inform and/or inspire change
- CSUSM Space Utilization. Developed a visualization of the utilization of lecture spaces on campus for wildcard
meeting patterns. IMPACT: Used by Academic Affairs to generate support for modifying
course meeting patterns to improve space utilization and mitigate an imminent space
- Puzzling Worksheet. Developed a worksheet to help staff puzzle rooms to meet SUAM guidelines for space
utilization to help fill classrooms with courses. IMPACT : Assists staff to assign
courses to classrooms to meet metrics for scheduling classrooms, ensuring proposed
courses meet approved meeting patterns and times; and reducing the number of errors
in scheduling audits.
- Entitlements Worksheet. Corrected the formulas for the contract types in the entitlements worksheet for lecturers
to handle all possible cases. Tested and approved by Faculty Affairs and intended
for all colleges to maintain and track their entitlements database. IMPACT: Accurately
tracks entitlements. Expanded the file by making it easy to include new lecturers,
insert new academic year entitlements for continuing lecturers; includes the timetable
from Faculty Affairs for lecturer evaluations.
- Enrollment Summary and Lecturer Budget. Rewrote the CSTEM enrollment summary to correct formula flaws and used advanced Excel
capabilities to reduce repetitive manual labor for maintaining the file. Pivot tables
summarize course enrollment and waitlists, faculty assignments/workload, and unassigned
courses. Applied formulas and lookup tables to track the lecturer budget. Adapted
to all colleges. IMPACT: Significantly reduced the workload in maintaining the accuracy
of the file, much easier to remember how to use and maintain. Accurately tracks the
instructional budget and workload of all instructors, useful for reimbursement for
reassigned time and contract preparation. Presented to CSTEM Chairs and Associate
Deans and in a workshop through IITS Tech Bites workshop series, Spring 2021. Also
presented the Erollment Summary in the New Faculty Institute to new Chairs, August
- Dashboard for first-time students (D4FTS). Created a dashboard for monitoring enrollment of first-time freshmen and transfer
students, who arrive on campus with limited information. IMPACT: Quickly identifies
the schedule for first-time students and their enrollment intensity, especially useful
for easily contacting underenrolled students. Presented to CSTEM Chairs, Associate
Deans, Degree Set Go committee, Advising Council, and presented in a workshop through
the Faculty Center.
- Analysis of DFW rate for MATH 101. Developed a model with a “what-if” analysis that verifies that MATH 101 is more effective
than the Pre-E0 1110 remediation pathways for non-math proficient students for earning
B4 credit. IMPACT: Quantifies that MATH 101 is more effective than previous remediation
pathways for earning B4 credit, encourages the campus to provide resources to reduce
the high DFW rate for MATH 101. Presented to CSTEM Chairs and Degree Set Go committee.
Teaching. I've taught a variety of lower-division, upper-division, and graduate courses:
- Math 210 Mathematics for Elementary Teaching I
- Math 212 Mathematics for Elementary Teaching II
- Math 311 Mathematics for Elementary Teaching III
- Math 115 College Algebra
- Math 132 Survey of Calculus
- Math 242 Probability Modeling and Inferential Statistics
- Math 350 Foundations for Theoretical Mathematics
- Math 370 Discrete Mathematics
- Math 374 Linear Algebra
- Math 410 Modern Geometry
- Math 464 Numerical Analysis and Computing
- Math 470 Modern Abstract Algebra
- Math 480 Introduction to Optimization
- Math 560 Optimization Theory and Applications
- Math 561 Computational Linear Algebra
Sabbatical. I spent a sabbatical leave teaching K-6 students at local elementary schools, including
a third grade class with Mrs. Emme, a fourth-fifth grade combination class with Mrs.
Roncaglia, and two sixth grade classes with Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Dugger. It was an
intensive opportunity to develop, test, and refine techniques, based on classroom
experiences as well as recommendations from the literature, for helping students learn
math content. The elementary school teachers I've worked with continue to welcome
me to their classrooms to teach their students. These past and present experiences help
establish a stronger connection between the elementary classroom and the college classroom
while teaching prospective elementary school teachers.
- R. D. Fierro. Mathematics for Elementary School Teachers. Cengage Learning, © 2013, ISBN 9780538493635. College textbook, sole author, 13
chapters (976 pages), appendices and bibliography. Six-year effort from 2006-2012.
Covers the five strands of mathematics in the elementary curriculum: numbers and operations,
algebra and functions, data analysis and probability, measurement, and geometry. Based
on several hundred hours of experience teaching elementary school students, a sabbatical
leave spent teaching in local elementary schools, fifteen years of teaching prospective
teachers in the college classroom, published research of talented K-8 teachers and
college educators, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards and Common
Core State Standards that describe what teachers should know and be able to do, and
valuable feedback from reviewers.
- Instructor's Resource Manual (557 pages, co-author S. Fallstrom, © 2013). ISBN 9781133363729
- Student Solutions Manual (119 pages, co-author S. Fallstrom, © 2013). ISBN 9781133363743
- Activity Manual (100 pages, co-author R. Kress, © 2013). ISBN 9781133363712I joined the Dept of Mathematics in 1992, but took a leave of absence for a postdoc
at UCLA for one year. I published numerous joint articles in numerical analysis &
co-authored two MATLAB software packages.
- Fierro, R.D. and Jiang, E. (2005). Lanczos and the Riemannian SVD in information retrieval applications, Numerical Linear Algebra with Applications, 12, pp. 355-372.
- Fierro, R.D. and Hansen, P.C. (2002). Recent developments in rank revealing and Lanczos methods for TLS-related problems; in S. Van Huffel and P. Lemmerling (Eds.), Total Least Squares and Errors-in-Variables
Modeling: Analysis, Algorithms, and Applications, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp.
- Fierro, R.D. and Hansen, P.C. (2002). Truncated VSV Solutions to Symmetric Rank-Deficient Problems, B.I.T., 42, pp. 531-540.
- Fierro, R.D. (2001). Lanczos, Householder transformations, and implicit deflation for fast and reliable
dominant singular subspace computation, Numerical Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 8, pp. 245-264.
- Vanhamme, L., Fierro, R.D., Van Huffel, S., and de Beer, R. (1998). Fast removal of residual water in proton spectra, J. Magnetic Resonance, 132, pp. 197-203.
- Fierro, R.D. and Hansen, P.C. (1997). Low rank revealing two-sided orthogonal decompositions, Numerical Algorithms, 15, 37-55.
- Fierro, R.D., Golub, G.H., Hansen, P.C., and O’Leary, D.P. (1997). Regularization by truncated total least squares, SIAM J. Scientific Computing, 18, pp. 1223-1241.
- Fierro, R.D. (1996). Perturbation theory for two-sided (or complete) orthogonal decompositions, SIAM J. Matrix Analysis and Applications, 17, pp. 383-400.
- Berry, M.W. and Fierro, R.D. (1996). Low-rank orthogonal decompositions for information retrieval applications, Numerical Linear Algebra with Applications, 3, pp. 301-327.
- Fierro, R.D. and Bunch, J.R. (1996). Perturbation theory for orthogonal projection methods with applications to least squares
and total least squares, Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 234, pp. 71-96.
- Fierro, R.D. and Bunch, J.R. (1996). Bounding the subspaces obtained by rank revealing two-sided orthogonal decompositions, SIAM J. Matrix Analysis and Applications, 3, pp. 743-759.
- Fierro, R.D. and Bunch, J.R. (1995). Orthogonal projection and total least squares, Numerical Linear Algebra with Applications, 2, pp. 135-153.
- Fierro, R.D. and Hansen, P.C. (1995). Accuracy of TSVD solutions computed from rank revealing decompositions, Numerische Mathematik, 70, pp. 453-471.
- Fierro, Ricardo & Bunch, James. (1994). Collinearity and Total Least Squares. SIAM
Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications. 15, pp. 1167-1181.
- Bunch, J.R. and Fierro, R.D. (1992). A constant false alarm rate algorithm, Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 172, pp. 231-241.
REFEREED SOFTWARE PUBLICATIONS
freely available at www.netlib.org/numeralgo
- Fierro, R.D., Hansen, P.C., and Hansen, P.S. UTV Tools: MATLAB templates for rank revealing UTV Decompositions, Numerical Algorithms, 20 (1999), pp.165-194.
(contents: 46 MATLAB functions, 8 demos, 97-page User’s Guide).
- Fierro, R.D. and Hansen, P.C. UTV Expansion Pack: Special-Purpose Rank-Revealing Algorithms,
Numerical Algorithms, 2005. (contents: 34 MATLAB functions, 3 demos, 68-page User’s
A FEW ACTIVITIES
- Completed three training sessions for Burning Glass Labor Insights and Burning Glass
Program Insights, toward closing the gap between curriculum and careers. (Jan and
- Attended webinar “How NC State University is using Burning Glass data to revolutionize
how students see the value of degrees.” (Feb 2021)
- CSU Student Success Analytics Certificate Program. Engage in a cross-functional learning
community; Hear from experts in equity-minded analytics; Learn strategies for moving
insight to action; Implement an equity-focused action research project.
- Principles for Leadership in Higher Education (Feb 17 – Mar 17, 2021; online bootcamp
+ success coaching through Academic Impressions). Fifteen (15) hours of training plus
Principle 1. Model the Way (clarify your values, understand the shared values of the
group, set the example by aligning action with shared values). Principle 2. Inspire
a Shared Vision (find common purpose and opportunities). Principle 3. Challenge the
Process (look or innovative ways to improve the process). Principle 4. Enable Others
to Act (build trust, enable others to act). Principle 5. Encourage the Heart (recognize
contributions, show appreciation).
- Presentation on a mind map for Sense of Belonging to the Office of Success Coaches,
April 9, 2021. Mind map available at https://bra.in/7vNAmW using the Firefox or Microsoft Edge browser.
Topics covered: What It Is; Why It Matters; Who Benefits; How to Promote it; High
- Prepared a Program Assessment Report for the undergraduate program in Mathematics.
Extensive effort included designing a rubric for assessing “proof and reasoning” student
learning outcome, analyzing data including statistical analysis, and writing a report,
- Prepared a Program Assessment Report for the graduate program in Mathematics. Extensive
effort included designing a rubric for assessing “proof and reasoning” student learning
outcome, analyzing data including statistical analysis, and writing a report, 2007.
- Prepared a Program Assessment Report for the undergraduate program in Mathematics.
Extensive effort included designing a rubric for assessing “written communication”
student learning outcome, and writing a report, 2008.
- Prepared a Program Assessment Report for the graduate program in Mathematics. Extensive
effort included designing a rubric for assessing “verbal communication” student learning
outcome, and writing a report, 2008.
- Lead author for extensive program evaluation and planning (self study) reports (AY04/05
and AY06/07) along with documentation (called the Data Notebook) for the Department
of Mathematics with the assistance of the math faculty. This extensive and collaborative
effort involved guiding the math faculty (without course release) to: design student
learning outcomes; develop a matrix that shows the relationship between student learning
outcomes and undergraduate and graduate courses; consider improvements to the graduate
program; consider readiness of incoming freshmen to begin lower division coursework
in the major, as well as transfer students to begin upper division coursework; analyze
enrollment trends in the number of majors using data from the Office of Analytic Studies;
describe relations that program faculty have with counterparts at local high schools,
community colleges, and nearby four-year institutions used to improve the readiness
of arriving students; examine Student/Alumni survey results; apply recommendations
of the publication The Mathematical Education of Teachers by the Conference Board
of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS) to ensure our courses (namely abstract algebra,
analytic geometry in calculus, analysis, probability and statistics, discrete mathematics)
are aligned with the CBMS recommendations; delineate the sequence of courses a well
prepared prospective graduate student should know before entering a competitive doctoral
program; reflect on the quality and quantity of student contact with the program faculty;
implement measures to ensure timely academic progress of students; judge how research
and creative activities of the program faculty manifest themselves in the academic
degree program; mull about the adequacy of library and computing resources for achieving
student learning outcomes; and outline strengths and weakness in the mathematics course
offerings. Major undertakings.