Richard S. Ellis grew up in Boston and attended Harvard, where he majored in mathematics and German literature. He earned his Ph.D. at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. He then taught at Northwestern University and in 1975 joined the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is now a professor. Richard has published numerous papers in mathematics and related areas and is the author of two math books (the second with Paul Dupuis), which explore the theory of large deviation inspired him to teach the Torah and to lead a Jewish faculty group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. These activities led to his appointment in 1998 as an adjunct professor in the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he has taught courses on the Book of Genesis, the Book of Job, and the writings of Franz Kafka. He has also published poetry and articles on the Torah, literature, art, and anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.

Richard has lectured widely on his work in the US, Europe, and Israel. He has also had extensive experience with Buddhist meditation, having led a number of meditation groups and participated in retreats at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts and the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. His university website offers detailed information about his work and his interests and can be viewed at

Richard is a father, a grandfather, and a teacher, and he is married to a teacher. Besides his family, the loves of his life are many: mathematics, the Torah, Jewish and Buddhist spirituality, literature, bicycling, jazz, strong coffee, the music of Bach.

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