Stephen Wirkus earned his doctorate in applied mathematics at Cornell University in 1999. After holding academic appointments at Cornell and Cal Poly Pomona, he came to Arizona State University in 2007.
Among Wirkus' scholarly interests are mathematical biology, differential equations, dynamical systems, mathematical methods in physics, mathematical modeling, and numerical methods. His interest in mathematical biology is evidenced by his current work focusing on mathematical models of diffusely interacting populations, the retina, and gene networks. He also has worked recently on the mathematics of neuron firing and mathematical models of bipolar disorder.
Recently Wirkus has co-authored scholarly articles in journals such as the Journal of Theoretical Biology, Mathematical Medicine and Biology, Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, and Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems. He is a manuscript referee for Journal of Vibration and Control and a manuscript reviewer for Chapman & Hall/CRC Press.
Wirkus also published the textbook "A Course in Ordinary Differential Equations" with Chapman & Hall/CRC press that incorporates the popular mathematical software MATLAB, Maple and Mathematica.
Along with School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences' colleague Erika Camacho, Wirkus served as co-director of the Applied Mathematical Sciences Summer Institute, a summer undergraduate research program from 2005-2007.
Within the mathematical and natural sciences, Wirkus serves as chair of the Applied Mathematics Degree Program Committee. He has also served on various hiring and personnel committees. In Fall 2011, he was awarded the AGEP (NSF Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program) Mentoring Award from the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). He has taught a variety of courses including Calculus with Analytic Geometry, Mathematical Models in Biology, Introduction to Geometry, Advanced Calculus, and Techniques and Applications of Applied Mathematics.
In May 2013, Wirkus was named ASU's Professor of the Year by the Sun Devil Family Association.