An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News & Media : News

    NRL News & Press Releases

NEWS | Feb. 17, 2023

NRL Researcher Receives MGB-SIAM Early Career Fellowship

By Daniel Parry

Steven Rodriguez, Ph.D., research scientist from the Computational Multiphysics Systems Laboratory at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), was awarded an early career fellowship sponsored by the Mathematically Gifted and Black (MGB) community and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).
Rodriguez’s research in applied mathematics focuses on computational multiphysics, model-reduction, dynamical systems, and numerical optimization. Recently, he has been leading efforts at NRL to develop machine learning technology to drastically reduce the computational expense of high-fidelity physics simulations, including additive manufacturing, hypersonics, and free-surface fluid dynamics.
“Basically, we are trying to bring the power of high-performance computing to simulate physics to smaller devices like laptops or even iPads. This is tricky because there isn’t any ‘super’ hardware we can use to give smaller devices HPC capabilities. So, we have to be clever and manipulate physics equations so that these devices can handle the memory and computing demands of high-fidelity simulation. Ultimately, we want to give design engineers easy and cheap access to powerful simulations, said Rodriguez”
Rodriguez started working in the field of mathematics and scientific computing as an undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and has extensive experiences across many different government laboratories. When asked about the role mathematics has had on his life, Rodriguez said, “Mathematics has taken me to so many places I only dreamed of as a kid growing up in the inner-city of Los Angeles. This includes working on data-driven model-reduction techniques for the Mars 2020 rover, working on octtree algorithms for aeroacoustic simulations at the NASA Langley Research Center, and now I’m working at NRL next to Nobel-caliber researchers!”
The MGB-SIAM Early Career (MSEC) fellowship recognizes achievements of early career applied mathematicians – particularly those belonging to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups historically excluded from the mathematical sciences in the United States.
“This award means the world to me, and I’m glad MGB and SIAM are celebrating the achievements of underrepresented mathematicians despite their historical exclusion in mathematics,” said Rodriguez. “My parents were civil war refugees from Central America, and I had to be the first in my family to attend and graduate from a university, let alone to receive a Ph.D. Unfortunately, I also had to overcome many instances of prejudice, racism, and isolation during my education, which include being told by a professor to drop out of my program because I didn’t belong at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), being the third Latino graduate of my Ph.D. program in 150 years, being called too “brown” to be a Ph.D. student at Lehigh University by students, and getting told by other students’ parents that I was stealing funding and a Ph.D. position from white students. Fortunately, I had wonderful friends, professors, and a fantastic advisor at UCSD and Lehigh University to get me through these rough times, but my story is not uncommon among the underrepresented community and people of color.”
Rodriguez remains committed to serving members of underrepresented communities, especially the Latine community. Over the last ten years he has provided pro bono tutoring services and crash courses for college applications and financial aid cycles to first generation college students and their parents. He hopes the MSEC fellowship will provide him opportunities to further his research in mathematics, give him a platform to further reach out to his community and inspire the next generation of Latine mathematicians.

About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL is located in Washington, D.C. with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; Monterey, California, and employs approximately 3,000 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel.

News Search