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Salisbury Laboratories, 405F
Phone: +1-508-831-5212
Fax: +1-508-831-5824

Paul W. Davis

Paul Davis is an applied mathematician who studies the operation and control of electric power systems. He has consulted widely for corporations and other organizations. That interest in practical problem solving has manifested itself in several textbooks and in software that supports student-centered learning in mathematical modeling. He approaches teaching, whether in a calculus classroom or in an international setting with teams attacking complex social-technical projects, as an opportunity to help students to learn for themselves and to develop the confidence and problem-solving skills of successful citizens of the world.

He has served as dean of Interdisciplinary and Global Studies at WPI, supporting the university's distinctive global program that places student teams around the world to solve open-ended technical and social problems. He has also chaired WPI’s Mathematical Sciences Department and served as an applied mathematics program officer for the U.S. Army Research Office.

As a Jefferson Science Fellow in the U.S. Department of State, Paul was Senior Science Advisor in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Office of Regional and Security Policy Affairs. His primary responsibility was an agreement for cooperation in science and technology (S&T) between the 10 nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the US. In addition, he assisted the Office of Science and Technology Cooperation in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs with bilateral science and technology affairs involving Malaysia and other countries in Southeast Asia.

Paul completed several terms as secretary of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and as Editor-in-Chief of SIAM Review. He was also part of the team leading SIAM's first Mathematics in Industry Project.

Research Interests

  • Electric power networks
  • Applied mathematics


  • BS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1966
  • MS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1968
  • PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1970

Featured Publications

  • "The use of importance sampling in stochastic OPF," 2005 IEEE St. Petersburgh PowerTech Proceedings, paper 286, (with Slobodan Pajic and K. A. Clements) Differential Equations: Modeling with MatLab, Prentice-Hall, 1999
  • "Implementing nonquadratic objective functions for state estimation and bad data rejection," IEEE Trans. Power Systems, 12(1) Feb 1997, 376, (with K. A. Clements, Z. Pinjo-Dzigal, and R. Baldick), Asking good questions about differential equations, College Mathematics Journal, 25(5) 1994, 394-400
  • "Rigorous bounds and relations among spatial and temporal approximations in the theory of combustion," Combustion Science and Technology, 23 (l980), 153-162 (with J. Chandra)

Professional Highlights

  • Jefferson Science Fellow US Department of State
  • WPI Trustees' Award for Outstanding Research
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