Check them out! Click on the book to the right for information about A Course in Ordinary Differential Equations, 2nd Edition by Wirkus & Swift.

Click on the book to the left for information about A Course in Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems, 2nd Edition by Wirkus, Swift, and Szypowski.

Stephen Wirkus

Associate Professor of Mathematics
School of Mathematical & Natural Sciences
New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Arizona State University

office: FAB N130
phone: (602)543-8236
fax: (602)543-3260
e-mail: swirkus "at" asu "dot" edu

mailing address:                shipping address:
Mail Code 2352                 4701 W. Thunderbird Rd.
P.O. Box 37100                  Glendale, AZ 85306-4908
Phoenix, AZ 85069-7100

ASU info page for me. My Curriculum Vitae.


I am interested in the study of nonlinear differential equations and work with both the theoretical and computational aspects. More recently my work has involved application to numerous biological problems, most notably interaction of photoreceptors in the retina. In joint work with Erika Camacho, we have a published the first mechanistic models of interacting photoreceptors with the hope of giving insight into degenerative eye diseases. My early publications include work on the pumping of a playground swing and the coupling of two van der Pol oscillators with delay coupling.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, I was a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

I completed my Ph.D. in August 1999 in the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell University under the direction of Richard Rand. My other two committee members were John Guckenheimer and Steven Strogatz.

Research with Undergraduates

I have supervised undergraduate research since 1996, most notably with the Applied Mathematical Sciences Summer Institute (AMMSI), a summer undergraduate research program that I co-founded with Erika Camacho. For many years I was also co-director of the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute (MTBI) at Cornell University/Arizona State University. I have been PI or co-PI on numerous grants to the National Science Foundation and National Security Agency to fund such research.
Information about the Applied Mathematical Sciences Summer Institute (AMSSI), which ran from 2005-2007 and was hosted jointly by Cal Poly Pomona and Loyola Marymount University.
The research conducted at AMSSI was partially supported by grants given by the Department of Defense (through its ASSURE program), the National Science Foundation (DMS-0453602), and National Security Agency (MSPF-06IC-022). Substantial financial and moral support was also provided by Don Straney, Dean of the College of Science at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona at the time and current Chancellor of University of Hawai'i, Hilo.

Teaching and Mentoring

I was named the
2013 ASU Professor of the Year. I was particularly proud of this award as I was the first math professor and the first professor from ASU's West Campus to receive this honor. I was also named the AGEP Mentor of the Year (NSF Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program) for the Compact for Faculty Diversity Institute on Teaching and Mentoring by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in 2011. I have taught a range of lower division, upper division, and graduate level courses. You can see students' thoughts at (ASU) or (Cal Poly Pomona).

Information on applying to graduate school: Article 1 (more comprehensive; written by Erika Camacho and me) and Article 2 (written by me)

Information on Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU's) in the Mathematical Sciences

Miscellaneous info

Information about the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), the Society for Mathematical Biology (SMB), and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Thanks to financial support over the years (graduate fellowships and summer support in graduate school)

  • Ford Foundation Fellowship
  • Corning Foundation Graduate Fellowship
  • Cornell University Anonymous Donor Award
  • National Science Foundation (partial fellowship and support of AMSSI and MTBI)
  • National Security Agency (support of AMSSI and MTBI)
  • Department of Defense (support of AMSSI)
  • Sloan Foundation (support of MTBI)