Lois Curfman McInnes ’88 - Alumni Achievement in Math - Applied Mathematics
From Sarah Leonhardt on September 25th, 2018
Lois Curfman McInnes ’88
Alumni Achievement in Math - Applied Mathematics
Lois Curfman McInnes grew up in Anneville, a very small town in south central Pennsylvania. Coming
to Muhlenberg was quite a transition. Becoming a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, her
confidence increased and leadership skills grew. Classes providing an enriching and challenging
atmosphere, combined with passionate and committed professors, created a supportive place where
she was pushed to learn and grow. Walter Loy and Robert Milligan of the physics department and
professor Robert Stump of the math department helped her understand the practical reasons to major
in math and physics. She uses both disciplines today when collaborating with other scientists.
Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), scientists and engineers at Argonne National
Laboratory pursue leading-edge research to solve complex challenges and develop useful technologies
that can transform the marketplace and change the world. McInnes joined the team of world-renowned
mathematicians and researchers there 25 years ago. Today, as senior computational
scientist, she enjoys working collaboratively with mathematicians, computer scientists and
researchers developing mathematical software and algorithms to help tackle challenges in science.
McInnes was honored in 2011 by the DOE Office of Science with the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award
for exceptional contributions and research in developing a software library used by scientists and
engineers who were researching areas such as acoustics, air pollution, earthquake simulation and ice
dynamics. In 2015, she received the SIAM/ACM prize in Computational Science and Engineering, and
in 2017, a publication written by McInnes and colleagues at Argonne was selected by the DOE Office of
Science for the 40th anniversary collection of 40 major papers that have changed the face of science.
After graduating summa cum laude from Muhlenberg, McInnes joined the applied math department
at the University of Virginia where she received her Ph.D.