Dr Pierre-Philippe Dechant

Dr Pierre-Philippe Dechant


I am a Curriculum Redefined Lecturer in Mathematics and Data Science at the University of Leeds. Before that, I have done the programme design for BScs in Mathematics and Data Science at York St John University, as well as setting up the first Data Science Degree Apprenticeship in England there.

I am passionate about active learning, communication, collaboration, interdisciplinarity, problem solving, programming, employability and meaningful assessments. 

Before York St John I was a lecturer of Mathematics and Biology at the University of York and in Mathematics and Physics at Durham University. 

I did a BSc in Natural Sciences, MMath and PhD (mathematical physics) at Cambridge University, where I was also Lord Butterfield Harvard Scholar in 2003. 

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications. 

From 2014-2021 I have been York city coordinator and the chapter manager for Yorkshire and the Humber for the Pint of Science festival

I am external examiner for the Applied Mathematics programme at Xian Jiaotong Liverpool University and have examined PhDs in Mathematics and Physics at Universite de Montreal. I am an honorary member of the University of York Mathematics Department and the York Cross-disciplinary Centre for Complex Systems Analysis. 


  • Curriculum Redefined
  • Programme Design
  • Sustainability

Research interests

My research interests are at the intersection of algebra, data science and mathematical biology. One key interest is how viruses function: what structure they have, how this structure is assembled, and how we can interfere with this process if necessary.

I have recently proposed Therapeutic Interfering Particles based on repurposing insights into the viral assembly process identified by Professor Reidun Twarock (York) and Professor Peter Stockley (Astbury Centre, Leeds). I have also pioneered machine learning and simulation methods in this field. 

I am also interested in machine learning mathematical datasets, and am co-convening a Topical Collection on Machine Learning Mathematical Structures as well as a session on Data Science and Machine Learning at the ICCA conference 2023.

Long-standing interests revolve around symmetries, groups and algebras (in particular Clifford algebras), and I have a forthcoming book on ADE correspondences with John McKay, Peter Cameron and Yang-Hui He published by Cambridge University Press. 

Other interests are around History of Mathematics, Sustainability in Education and Global Partnerships. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • MA, MMath, PhD (Cantab)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FInstP)
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

Professional memberships

  • London Mathematical Society
  • Institute of Physics
  • AACA Editorial Board
  • ICCA Steering Committee and International Advisory Board

Student education

  • Curriculum Redefined
  • PRiSM
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Pure Mathematics
  • Data Science
  • Employability
  • Sustainability School lead and member of the University Sustainable Curriculum Team and the Faculty Sustainability team
  • Co-Chair of the Leeds University Network for Sustainability in Higher Education (LUNSHE) network
  • Programme design lead BSc Data Science
  • School lead for Design workshops on Student/staff parterships & Belonging, as well as Assessment & Skills Development with the Learning Design Agency
  • Module leader for MATH3015 History of Mathematics
  • Module leader for MATH2375 Linear Differential Equations and Transforms
  • Teaching on MATH2640 Optimisation and MATH3001 (Project in Sustainability)