Facets of me


My Blog

In January 2005 I started a blog called The Mad Professah Lectures. I now blog daily there and tweet pretty regularly as well!

The Mad Professah Lectures

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Curriculum Vitae

I am Full Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Occidental College; I have been a member of the Occidental faculty from August 1994. I was a Program Officer in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation for two years, from August 2011 to August 2013. I was the chairperson of  the mathematics department of Occidental College from 2005-2010 and 2015-16. You can find more details on my professional activities by reading my curriculum vitae.  There's also more general information about me at my blog's biography page.

Occidental College

Occidental College is a multicultural, nationally ranked, highly selective undergraduate college of the liberal arts and sciences located in Eagle Rock (north east Los Angeles), California. Here is my official Occidental College faculty website.


I have set up web pages for all of the classes that I teach at Occidental.  I was last on sabbatical in Spring 2011.  Fall 2015 I am teaching Ordinary Differential Equations, Mathematics as a Liberal Art, Senior Seminar. In Spring 2016 I will teach Complex Analysis, Mathematical Modeling: Industrial Mathematics and Junior Seminar. 


My primary research interests are applied mathematics, computational aerodynamics (specifically transonic flow) and numerical analysis

In general, I am interested in the mathematical modeling of physical situations (usually fluid flow of some kind) and applying mathematics to "real world" situations. This usually ends up involving nonlinear partial differential equations, which have to be solved numerically, using computational methods. I'm a "finite-difference" kinda guy, myself. In particular, I have become interested in "non-standard" finite differences of the sort Ronald E Mickens has been publishing about for at least twenty years. I have completed multiple papers on this topic, two of  which were published in the journal Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations (Investigations of  Nonstandard, Mickens-type, Finite-Difference Schemes for Singular Boundary Value Problems in Cylindrical or Spherical Coordinates and "Application of a Mickens finite-difference scheme to the cylindrical Bratu-Gelfand problem." I'm currently working on extending this work by applying nonstandard finite-differences to the famous Bratu-Gel'fand problem in spherical coordinates.

One of my publications introduced a new type of mathematical model of the evolution of movie grosses over time. It was co-written with a colleague of mine at the University of Delaware named David A. Edwards and is entitled "A Differential Equation Model of North American Cinematic Box-Office Dynamics." It was published in the July 2001 issue of the IMA Journal of Management Mathematics. I have been actively working on a sequel to this paper with undergraduate student Jacob Ortega-Gingrich since Summer 2010. It was published by the same journal in 2013 and is titled "A Mathematical Model of Cinem,atic Box-Office Dynamics with Geographic Effects." I am still actively trying to find a deterministics, mathematical model to describe the relationship between movie sequels and their "parent" films.

If you are interested, you can read an abstract of my PhD thesis, The Design Of Shock-Free Transonic Slender Bodies. If you are really perverse, you can download a copy of the entire thesis itself or view the entire thesis online in PDF format.


I received my Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in August 1994. RPI (Rensselaer) is in Troy, NY. I spent 8 years of my life there (1986-94) earning my Bachelor's (1989), Masters (1992) and PhD (1994) degrees.


Before I lived in Troy, I used to live and go to high school at Combermere School, the oldest high school in Barbados, which is in the Caribbean. While I was there (1978-1986) I became interested in chess. By the time I was 18 I had earned the titles of U.S. National Master, U.S. Senior Master and FIDE Master. In fact, I'm still an internationally and nationally ranked chess player. My current international chess rating is 2320. My United States Chess Federation rating is 2422. You can look at one of my most famous games, Buckmire-Lawson, where I beat an International Master in 14 moves(!) at the 1985 British Championships when I was 17.

I also play chess relatively often on the website. You can view my completed games here.

Queer Resources Directory

I guess one of the things I'm most famous for is the creation of the Queer Resources Directory, which is the oldest and largest Internet online resource of information about gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered people, as well as AIDS and HIV. There are a number of copies of the QRD Mirrors in the United States, United Kingdom and Israel. In 1996, the QRD became one of the 20 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, RENO vs ACLU et alia attempting to strike down the ``indecency provisions'' of the Telecommunication Act of 1996 as unconstitutional. On June 26 1997, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the federal Communications Decency Act was unconstitutional (521 U.S. 844) .


Besides the QRD I have a number of other outlets for my activities. I mainly work on the issues of same-sex marriage, queer immigration and international queer rights. In 2006, I co-founded the Barbara Jordan/Bayard Rustin Coalition, a Black LGBT civil rights organization. Currently I serve as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Center for Health Justice, who work to empower those impacted by HIV and incarceration to make healthier choices and as Secretary of the Board of Directors of Overnight Productions, which is responsible for the international gay and lesbian radio newsmagazine This Way Out. I am also a members of the Board of Directors of Stonewall Democrats and Immigration Equality. In 2007, at the insistent urgings of its Executive Director Matt Foreman, I chaired the Host Committee for the Los Angeles Leadership Awards benefiting The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. I have previously served on the Board of Directors of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission from 1996 to 2002 and  Equality California (statewide gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender political lobbying organization) from 2002 to 2004 and Being Alive Los Angeles (local HIV advocacy, education and support organization) from 2002 to 2006. Locally, I was on the Steering Committee of the Los Angeles Freedom To Marry Task Force from 1994 to 2000. I was the coordinator of Immigration Equality, the Los Angeles chapter of what was then called the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force from 1998 to 2002. Later they changed the national organization's name to one that I helped coin years earlier! In 1996, Out Magazine listed me as one of the Top 100 Gay and Lesbian Activists of the Year. In July 1997, for its 30th anniversary issue The Advocate named me a member of "Generation Q," 30 activists under-30 who have made a difference. 

A Few Favourite Things

When I'm not involved in all of the things above I spend my time at the gym, playing tennis, or reading books, watching movies, listening to CDs, etc. I have compiled a list of my favorite books, movies, CDs which you can compare my faves to yours.

Public Talks

I often give public talks and the public files will be available at this link:

For my research talks, go to 

One famous talk of mine was at the 2005 Joint Math Meetings in Atlanta and was about my three favorite Calculus problems, which are reproduced below.

My Three Favorite Calculus Problems (Talk at the Joint Math Meetings, January 8 2005, in PDF form)

Last Updated September 3, 2015 by Ron Buckmire

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