Rachelle C. DeCoste

Professor of Mathematics


Phone: 508-286-5842


Ph.D., M.S., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
B.A., Connecticut College


Other Interests

Encouraging students, particularly those who are underrepresented in the field, to study mathematics. I enjoy exposing students to the beauty of mathematics, both inside and outside of the classroom.

In 2017 the Wheaton College Summit for Women in STEM was founded by Professor Laura Ekstrom and me.  This annual event brings together over 200 undergraduates, faculty and other professional women in STEM for a one-day conference.  The day includes research talks by undergraduates, a panel of women in STEM, a keynote speech and many opportunities for informal interactions.

I am the Director of the MAA/Tensor Grants for Women and Mathematics program.  These grants fund programs at colleges and universities that support initiatives for women and girls.

I founded and direct the Career Mentoring Workshop (CaMeW) for women finishing their PhDs in mathematics.  Through seven iterations of the workshop, we have mentored over 95 women at this critical transition point in their careers.  I continue to seek funding to support the workshop in future summers.



R. DeCoste, L. DeMeyer, M. Mainkar, A Ray, “The Geometry of 2-step Nilpotent Lie groups associated to simple graphs,” Advances in Geometry, Vol 18, Issue 3 (2018).

R. DeCoste and L. DeMeyer, “Totally Geodesic Subalgebras in 2-step Nilpotent Lie Algebras,” Rocky Mountain Journal of Mathematics, Vol. 45, No 5, 1425-1444 (2015).

R. DeCoste, L. DeMeyer and M. Mast, “Characterizations of Heisenberg-like Lie Algebras,” Journal of Lie Theory, Vol. 21, No 3. (2011).

R. DeCoste, “Closed Geodisics on Compact Nilmanifolds with Chevalley Rational Structure,” manuscripta math. 127, 309-343 (2008).

R. DeCoste and L. Piscitelle, “Center Manifold and Lie Symmetry Calculations on a Quasi-chemical Model for Growth-death Kinetics in Food,” arXiv:0704.1284.

R. DeCoste, “The multiplicity of weights in nonprimitive pairs of weights,” preprint.

R. DeCoste and K. Huggins, “Reflections on Teaching Discrete Math for the First Time,” inroads – The SIGCSE (ACM) Bulletin, Vol. 39, No. 2, June 2007.

R. DeCoste and K. Huggins, “Teaching Discrete Math for the First Time,” Math CountS Column, inroads – The SIGCSE (ACM) Bulletin, Vol. 38, No. 4, December 2006.



Research Interests

Geometry of two-step nilpotent manifolds, particularly distribution of closed geodesics
Lie symmetries acting on differential equations






Diana Davis Spencer Discovery Center 1310