William Schiesser, the R.L. McCann Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Mathematics in the department of chemical engineering, continues to make critical contributions to the field of biomedical engineering.
Schiesser is the author of Partial Differential Equation Analysis in Biomedical Engineering: Case Studies with Matlab, a textbook published in December 2012 by Cambridge University Press. Two more books, Schiesser's 12th and 13th, will be published in March 2014 by John Wiley & Sons Inc. The three books represent the culmination of Schiesser's lifelong efforts to help his students and his peers use the computer to solve ordinary and partial differential equations, or ODEs and PDEs. The two types of equations show how phenomena vary over time (ODEs) and over time and space (PDEs).
In retirement, Schiesser has joined research teams at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and at the University of Michigan's Medical School. At Penn, Schiesser works with ophthalmologists to mathematically model the diffusion of proteins in the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue behind the inner eye. At the University of Michigan, Schiesser is working with medical doctors to model the diffusion of anesthesia in different kinds of tissues, a phenomenon that has much in common with the manner in which encapsulated drugs are released from a polymer matrix and distributed into the body
Schiesser, who also taught courses in Lehigh's department of mathematics, has no plans to retire completely anytime soon. "Many people who retire," he says, "close their doors, and we never see them again. I feel very fortunate to be able to continue to contribute."
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