CV for Richard E Furnas

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Richard Edward Furnas
Mathematics Department
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14850
(607) 255-4658

Professional Preparation

  • Cornell University Cum Laude, Biology B.A. 1973
  • University of Alaska Mathematics M.S. 1975
  • University of Alaska Biology M.S. 1975
  • Goethe Institute, Staufen Germany German Language Study Mittel 1976
  • Universitaet Goettingen, Germany Math and Ecology Audit 1976
  • Cornell University Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Ph.D. 1981


  • 1981–present Teaching Faculty, Department of Mathematics, Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  • 1985-present Sole Proprietor, Microcomputer Power (Ithaca, NY)

Publications (most relevant to proposal)

  • Gauch, H.G., & Furnas, R. E. (1991). Statistical analysis of yield trials with MATMODEL. Agronomy Journal, 83, 916-920.
  • Furnas, Jr. T. C., Kunts, G. S., Furnas, R. E. (1982). Use of Toroidal Monochromators in hybrid XRF system improve effectiveness tenfold. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, special issue, 245-249.
  • Furnas, Jr. T. C., Lambert, M. C., Furnas, R. E. (1981). Use of Toroidal Monochromators in hybrid XRF system to obtain increased effectiveness ratios. Advances in X-Ray Analysis, 25, 59-62.
  • Furnas, R. E. (1975). A comparison of vegetation sampling techniques and Classification of Satellite data. Masters Thesis. University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Publications (other)

  • Furnas, R. E. (1981). A resource theory of self-thinning in plant populations. Ph.D. Dissertation. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
  • Furnas, R. E. (1973). Toward a general theory of Species Diversity. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Synergistic Activities

  • Statistical Analysis and Computer Support. Sole proprietor, Microcomputer Power. Microcomputer Power specializes in software for data analysis in Ecology. Provide problem domain expertise, as well as software application and computer technical support to over 3000 customers worldwide. Also provide software design advice and implementation suggestions to developers in The Netherlands and the Czech Republic. (1985-present); Support judicious use of technology in teaching and learning. Instructional Technology Office, Department of Mathematics, Cornell University (2007-present).
  • Mathematical and Statistical Applications. Provide Mathematics tutoring and application advice to members of the Cornell Community including undergraduate and graduate students as well as occasional faculty members in Math, Engineering, Chemistry, Biology. Mathematics Support Center, Cornell University (1981-present).
  • K-12 Outreach. Technology support of Mathematics Department Outreach and K-12 Education Coordinator at Cornell University (2006-present).

Collaborators and Other Affiliations

Cajo J. F. ter Braak (Biometris, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Wageningen, The Netherlands); Mary Ann Huntley (Cornell University); Petr Smilauer (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic); Maria Terrell (Cornell University)
Peter L. Marks (Professor Emeritus, Cornell University), Steve F. MacLean (Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks), Barbara Lando (University of Alaska, Fairbanks)


  • Parents:
    • Dr. Thomas C. Furnas, greatest Dad in the World; inventor of numerous designs in the fields of X-Ray Diffraction, X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy, and High Voltage connectors.
    • Judith Louise Furnas, world's greatest Mom to all six kids. Helpmeet to Dad. Personification of MomNet: "keeping the Furnas sibs informed about each other".
  • Siblings:
    • George: Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan
    • Bill: Engineer, Corning Glass, Corning, NY
    • Malou: Chemist with Baxter International, now on disability with multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome.
    • Tom: CTO with National Public Broadcasting, Cleveland, Ohio
    • Ebie: Consultant to Greater Cleveland Growth Association.
  • Former Wife: Louise, (m. 17 Apr 1982) (div. Sep 2008)
    • Music Teacher, Fall Creek Elementary
  • Son: Andy, (b. 10 Mar 1988)
    • 2006-2007 Rotary Exchange Student in Wangen Germany.
    • Accepted, Brown University 2006. Deferred until Fall 2007.
    • 2009 Declared Mathematics Major, Brown University
  • Son: Ben, (b. 30 Oct 1984)

Volunteer Work

  • Cayuga Nature Center:
    • Taxidermist
    • Wild Foods
    • Technology Guy: Network; Computers (Mac, PC, Linux); Phone System; Web Services
    • 2000 - 2009 Board of Directors
  • Alternatives Venture Fund: Board of Directors 2000-present.
  • Alternatives Federal Credit Union: Supervisory Committee 1983-1985
  • Alternatives Federal Credit Union: Board of Directors 1987-1989, President, 1988.
  • First Street Playhouse Actor and Board Member early 1980's
  • Ithaca Cooperative Nursery School Active parent and Board Member late 1980's
  • Fall Creek Elementary School PTA late 1980's early 1990's Active member. Produced Newsletter using Quark Express with input from writers using assorted word processing programs and portable computers.

Entrepreneurial Efforts

  • Microcomputer Power: Provides specialty software for data analysis in Ecology, since 1987.
  • Ithaca Laminating: Provided thermal plastic laminating services on paper. Batch service, since superceded by offerings from Kinko's and others. No longer in business.
  • Time and Temperature: (607) 277-2772 1980 until discontinued in 2008


  • Teaching Associate: or assorted other monikers Cornell University 1981-present
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8/21/80-5/27/81 Lecturer (50%) who
1/8/81-5/27/81 LSC & Math Teaching Associate (25%) AND Math MSC Lecturer (25%) who
8/20/81-1/6/82 Teaching Associate (50%) AND Lecturer (17.5%) who
1/7/82-5-26/82 Teaching Associate (50%) AND Lecturer (17.5%) who
8/19/82-1/5/83 Teaching Associate (25%) AND Lecturer (25%) AND (E&S) Teaching Associate (50%) who
1/6/83-5/25/83 Teaching Associate (50%) AND Lecturer (35%) who
8/18/83-5/23/84 Teaching Associate (100%) who
8/16/84-5/22/85 Teaching Associate (75%) who
8/15/85-1/1/86 Teaching Associate (100%) who
1/2/86-6/30/86 Teaching Associate (75%) who
8/14/86-5/20/87 Lecturer (100%) who
8/14/86-5/20/87 Lecturer (100%) who
8/13/87-5/18/88 Teaching Associate (100%) who
8/11/88-5/17/89 Teaching Associate (100%) who
8/10/89-5/16/90 Teaching associate (75%) who
5/17/90-8/8/90 Visiting Fellow (75%) who
8/9/90-5/15/91 Teaching Associate (75%) who
5/16/91-8/7/91 Visiting Fellow (75%) who
8/8/91-5/13/92 Teaching Associate (75%) who
5/14/92-8/5/92 Visiting Scholar (75%) who
8/6/92-5/12/93 Teaching Associate (75%) who
5/13/93-8/4/93 Visiting Scholar (75%) who
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5/12/94-8/17/94 Visiting Scholar (75%) who
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5/23/96-8/14/96 Visiting Scholar (75%) who
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5/16/99-8/15/99 Visiting Scholar (75%) who
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5/16/05-8/15/05 Visiting Lecturer (75%) who
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  • Graduate Teaching Assistant: Cornell University. 1977-1980.
    • Mathematics and some Ecology courses.
  • Scientific Drawing: Summer of '75. Denver, Colorado.
    • Pen and Ink drawing of charts and graphs for publication.
  • National Park Service: Summer 1973. Field Assistant. Seward Peninsula and South slope of the Brooks Range.
    • Chukchi-Imuruk Biological Survey
    • Kobuk Dunes Survey.
  • Bureau of Industrial Wastes, City of Cleveland: Summer '69.
    • Performed various tests of water chemistry using Standard Methods.
    • Tests included COD, BOD, Coliform Count, Lipids, Dissolved Solids, Ash, Dissolved Oxygen, Nitrates, Nitrites.

Honors and Awards

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship: 3 years, 2 at University of Alaska 1973-75, 1 at Cornell 1976-77
  • National Merit Scholar
  • Early Acceptance, Cornell University: Admitted to Cornell University from Junior Year in High School

Continuing Education

  • Independent Studies: Computer, Networks, Security, CGI, programming and scripting tweaks.
  • Blackboard training:
  • MacHack: 1996-2004
  • Actor's Workshop of Ithaca Meisner Training Full six Semester Course plus a production Class
    • First Semester: Repetition Exercise
    • Second Semester: Emotional Preparation
    • Third Semester: Character Work
    • Fourth Semester: External Circumstances, Relationships, Intentions
    • Fifth Semester: Script Analysis and Monologues
    • Sixth Semester: Monologues
    • Production Class: Is He Dead -- a new comedy by Mark Twain, adapted by David Ives. Played roles of Basil Thorpe, Charlie, Emperor of Russia

Ph.D. Work

  • Thesis Topic: A Resource Theory of 3/2 Thinning
  • Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: Cornell University, January '81

Language Studies

  • German: '75-'76
    • 6 months intensive language study at the Goethe Instute, Staufen im Breisgau, Germany.
      • Grundstufe I
      • Grundstufe II
      • Mittelstufe
    • Gasthoerer at University of Goettingen, Spring term, 1976
      • Ecology
      • Paleoecology
      • Phytosociology
      • Spectral and Harmonic Analysis
  • Russian: 1 year undergraduate study.
  • Latin: Grades 7-11
  • French: Grades 4-5

Master's Degree Work

  • MS Mathematics: University of Alaska '75
    • Coursework Master's Degree. Emphasis on Abstract Algebra and Mathematical applications in my Biology Thesis.
  • MS Biology: University of Alaska '75
    • Thesis Title: A comparison of vegetation sampling techniques and Classification of Satellite data

Undergraduate Education

  • Advisor: Peter L. Marks.
    • Set up his lab to perform Chemical Oxygen Demand Analysis on water samples from Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest.
    • Performed such analyses for several years.
  • Undergraduate Honors Thesis: Toward a General Theory of Species Diversity
  • BA Cum Laude in Biology with distinction in all subjects Cornell University 1973

Early Years

  • Assistant to Taxidermist, Cleveland Museum of Natural History: as teenager, helped prepare mounts as well as developed improved methods for skull preparation and dry preservation of soft-bodied insect larvae.
  • Animal Caretaker, Cleveland Museum of Natural History: as teenager.
  • Northwestern School of Taxidermy: Taxidermy correspondence course.
  • Future Scientists Program Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • Plant Project Grade 4

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