Mathematics Faculty: Lisette de Pillis

Lisette de Pillis, PhD, Norman F. Sprague Jr. Professor of Life Sciences, professor of mathematics and department chair, is a recognized expert in the field of cancer immunology modeling. Passionate about using mathematics to seek solutions to real-world problems, she works with other mathematicians, biologists and oncologists to search for new ways to treat cancer patients and those infected with HIV.

De Pillis researches a broad range of application areas, from modeling cancer tumor growth and treatment protocols to analyzing atmospheric pressure waves generated by storms. She has served as lead principal investigator on the National Science Foundation-supported project Mathematical Modeling of the Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy and Vaccine Therapy of Cancer, and she currently serves as part of a multi-institution collaboration funded by the James S. McDonnell Foundation to pursue research in brain tumor development and treatment. De Pillis employs sophisticated computational techniques to find solutions to otherwise intractable problems.

De Pillis also has an interest in parallel computing. She supervised the development and construction of the first on-site 16-node Beowulf parallel computer ever made available to undergraduate students in the United States. She has published several articles in the areas of theoretical and computational fluid dynamics, computational linear algebra, dynamics of periodic structures in engineering applications, parallel algorithms applications and mathematical biology.

De Pillis also served as director of the Harvey Mudd College Global Clinic Program from 2009-2014, prior to being elected as department chair.

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