Nicholas Willis

Nicholas Willis, PhD

Professor of Mathematics

Chair of Mathematics


My passions in life are God, family, Scripture and students. I'm quite fond of math, too.

I came to George Fox University as a student in the fall of 1996. I started on the faculty in 2009. It has been a blessing of God in my life to be able to come back to Fox as a faculty member. I believe in George Fox and the mission we have as a university to educate a student's heart while we are educating their mind. The true joy of being a professor at Fox is getting to know students and getting to be a part of their lives.

Mathematics has always been a big part of my life. From solving logic problems to playing strategy games to solving a differential equation, math has always been challenging and fun. I love the quiet joy solving a difficult problem brings me, and I love helping students find that same joy in my classes.


Academic Background

BS, Mathematics, George Fox University (2000)
MS, Mathematics, Texas Tech University (2003)
PhD, Mathematics, Texas Tech University (2005)


Research Interests

My primary research is in the area of Algebraic Geometry. I have spent many years researching and classifying singular points of real polynomial curves.

The simple way of stating the question I look to answer in my research is, "Given a real polynomial curve in two variables of a fixed degree, what are all of the ways that the curve can cross over itself?"

I also like to play around with some interesting problems in probability in my spare time.


Select Research Bibliography

Published Scholarship | George Fox University's Digital Commons


Primary Teaching Responsibilities

MATH 201/202/301 - Calculus
MATH 260 - Discrete Math
MATH 290 - Introduction to Proofs
MATH 410 - Algebraic Structures
MATH 420 - Real Analysis

YouTube Channel

I want to help students to be successful in calculus. The best way to learn any form of mathematics is to work problems. Then work more problems...then a few more. My YouTube channel is named The Calculus Professor.

Outside the Classroom

I am blessed with a wonderful family. My wife Jillian and I have two beautiful girls. We love to play family games together and travel together.

I am also the Oregon conference director of Free Methodist Bible Quizzing and have been involved in Bible quizzing for twenty-two years.