Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics
Virginia Military Institute
Rising Star Recipient
John David has been an Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Virginia Military Institute since 2011.
As a teacher, Dr. David has received stellar evaluations. Cadets in his classes have praised him for his willingness to help them find answers without giving too much assistance, as well as his deep knowledge of the subject matter and lively, engaging manner in the classroom. Dr. David’s efforts to pass on knowledge have not stopped at the classroom door. Since 2005, Dr. David has mentored 61 individuals doing independent research, or an average of six per year. That number has increased to seven per year since Dr. David joined the VMI faculty.
At VMI, one of Dr. David’s most well-known contributions is the Applied and Industrial Mathematics program, which allows cadets to use the skills they’ve learned in their applied mathematics classes to solve real-life problems for corporations and nonprofit organizations. Among the many projects carried out under this program have been building software to design search routes for piracy detection for the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and using algorithms to find optimal meal delivery routes for the Valley Program for Aging Services Meals on Wheels Program. Thanks at least in part to the Applied and Industrial Mathematics Program, cadets who have worked under Dr. David have found employment, graduate school placement or internships with a number of prestigious companies and institutions, among them the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, NASA and JP Morgan.
Discovery, or research, is another area in which Dr. David has made substantial contributions. Since 2007, when he received his doctorate from North Carolina State University, he has published 11 peer-reviewed articles and nine conference proceedings. Dr. David recently signed his first book publishing contract for Predicting Conflict: A Multi-method Approach. This book takes hundreds of quantitative and qualitative descriptors of each country for the last 70 years and describes how to apply data mining and machine learning techniques to predict international conflict.
“Being able to use math, data, programming, statistics, modeling and other scientific and engineering skills to make the world around me better is an absolute joy.”