Dr. Paul E. MacNeil

Associate Professor Emeritus of Software Systems Engineering

Dr. Paul MacNeil came to Mercer in 1990 after a number of jobs in engineering in industry, academic research, and teaching at multiple levels. When he realized that he loved teaching, he moved to a teaching career at Mercer.

The advances in software engineering are breathtaking, and we now have so much more to offer our students than we did a few years ago; this is true many times over. Applications of computational intelligence/machine learning enable us to solve problems that we could not have solved before, in areas such as data science and data analysis, and he finds this very exciting.


  • Ph.D., Physics, University of Arizona
  • M.S., Physics, University of Arizona
  • B.S., Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Software Engineering Education and Applied Computational Intelligence

Professional Interests

Dr. MacNeil’s recent research involves the application of computational intelligence techniques to the solution of fundamental equations of physics, equations that support engineering. This work includes the use of novel equation solution criteria.

Software engineering is a practice area; software engineering is something that you do, or perform. This means doing software engineering projects, learning by doing, and the courses he teaches are heavily project focused.

He previously did software development, mission operations, and scientific data analysis for the Viking (four spacecraft mission to Mars) Relativity Experiment.

Other Interests

He greatly enjoys his family. When he has time, he enjoys reading history and anthropology, and some fiction.

Recent Publications

  • “Where Is the Equation Solved? An Exploration In Progress”, presented at the 84th annual meeting of the American Physical Society Southeastern Section, November 2017
  • “Equation Solution Figures of Merit, Metaheuristic Search, and the Schrodinger Equation”, presented at the Annual National Meeting of the American Physical Society, April 2014


Office: Engineering Building 223a