Dr. Alvin Thaler

Al Thaler joined the National Science Foundation in 1971, when the Algebra and Topology Program, originally under the purview of Ralph M. Krause, was split into two programs. He was the first NSF Program Director for Algebra. In his over-thirty years at NSF he saw and was part of the growth of the Division in terms of budget, personnel, and intellectual breadth. He presided over the two renaming of Algebra Program (first to Algebra and Number Theory, then to the addition of Combinatorics to the current program title).

A partial listing of his job titles and responsibilities includes: Program Director for Strategic Activities; Program Director for Computational Mathematics; Program Director for Algebra, Number Theory, and Combinatorics; Program Manager, EXPRES (in CISE); Program Director for Foundations of Mathematics, and Program Director for Special Projects.

Thaler was an original member of the Grand Challenges Application Groups management team, and was NSF coordinator of the two initial joint NSF-DARPA programs (VIP, OPAAL).

As Program Director for Special Projects, in the 1980s, Thaler was principal Program Officer responsible for the formation and initial management of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes at Berkeley and Minneapolis, as well as the concept and initial design of the Scientific Computing Research Equipment in the Mathematical Sciences program, and the Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships program.

Dr. Thaler holds a Ph.D., Mathematics (Arithmetic Algebraic Geometry), The Johns Hopkins University; PhD Advisor: Bernard M. Dwork and a A.B., Columbia University