Stephen Wassell

Stephen Wassell

Steve received a B.S. in architecture, a Ph.D. in mathematics, and an M.C.S. in computer science, all from the University of Virginia. Switching from architecture as an undergraduate to mathematics in grad school may seem a bit unusual, but Steve has always loved math and was driven to play a role in helping others appreciate the beauty of mathematics. Now his primary research focus is on the relationships between architecture and mathematics, which means he explores the mathematics of beauty.

Fun fact: Steve spent the entire Fall 2014 semester with his wife teaching for the Semester at Sea program, touring Europe, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. It was like being on a floating university, with about the same number of students as Hollins living on the ship, together with all the faculty, administration, staff, and crew!

Areas of Expertise

  • Euclidean Geometry
  • Relationships between Math and Art, especially in Architecture

Courses Taught

  • MATH 105: QR in Today's World
  • MATH 242: Calculus II
  • MATH 310: Transition to Advanced Math
  • MATH 316: Several Variable Calculus
  • MATH 471: Senior Seminar
  • MATH 472: Senior Seminar II


  • 2013: Invited speaker for the University of Virginia Department of Mathematics annual Gordon E. Keller Mathematics Majors Dinner, Charlottesville, VA
  • 2012: Selected by The Princeton Review for inclusion in The Best 300 Professors (Random House / Princeton Review Books, April 3, 2012)

Research Interests

  • I love investigating the art/math interface, which means geometry is a key focus. Right now I am interested in sphere packing and tetrahedron packing, which we are having fun with in Senior Seminar, and for which we are using the 3D printer to create the various shapes involved.