Robert J. Plemmons, Z. Smith Reynolds Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, joined the Wake Forest University faculty in 1990. His current research includes computational mathematics applied to problems arising in image and signal processing, optics, and photonics. His work is supported by grants from the Army Research Office (ARO) on the topic of "novel image quality control systems", and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) on the topic of "space situational awareness", in collaboration with the UNM Maui Scientific Research Center.
In U.S. Defense Department research for 30 years, Plemmons' recent efforts have focused on using applied mathematics (algorithms) and optics techniques to remove image aberrations such as defocus, and to compensate for atmospheric distortion and improve the performance of optical imaging systems.
Plemmons received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Wake Forest in 1962 and his doctorate in applied mathematics from Auburn University in 1965. Before joining the Wake Forest faculty, Plemmons' experience included founding the University of North Carolina System's Center for Research in Scientific Computation at North Carolina State University.
Author of more than 150 papers and three books on computational mathematics, Plemmons is on the editoral boards of six journals. He has held research positions at Martin-Marietta Company and the National Security Agency. He has also testified before two U.S. Congressional Committees as a consultant on DoD basic research priorities.
During his career, Plemmons has presented over 350 invited research lectures, including lectures in 20 foreign countries, and received research grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NAT0). He has also testified before two U.S. Congressional Committees as a consultant on DoD basic research activities.
He played professional baseball in the Baltimore Orioles System for four
years in the 1960's after graduating from Wake Forest on a baseball scholarship.