Thomas Peter Witelski

  • Professor in the Department of Mathematics
  • Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (Secondary)
External address: 295 Physics Bldg, Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708-0320
Internal office address: Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708-0320
Phone: (919) 660-2841
Office Hours: 

Mondays 10:00am-noon and Tuesdays noon-2:30pm

Research Areas and Keywords

perturbation methods
Computational Mathematics
numerical partial differential equations
PDE & Dynamical Systems
fluid dynamics, nonlinear partial differential equations, dynamical systems, perturbation methods
Physical Modeling
fluid dynamics

My primary area of expertise is the solution of nonlinear ordinary and partial differential equations for models of physical systems. Using asymptotics along with a mixture of other applied mathematical techniques in analysis and scientific computing I study a broad range of applications in engineering and applied science. Focuses of my work include problems in viscous fluid flow, dynamical systems, and industrial applications. Approaches for mathematical modelling to formulate reduced systems of mathematical equations corresponding to the physical problems is another significant component of my work.

Education & Training
  • Ph.D., California Institute of Technology 1995

  • B.S.E., Cooper Union 1991

Witelski, T, Virgin, LN, and George, C. "A driven system of impacting pendulums: Experiments and simulations." Journal of Sound and Vibration (2013).

Chapman, SJ, Trinh, PH, and Witelski, TP. "Exponential Asymptotics for Thin Film Rupture." SIAM Journal of Applied Mathematics 73 (2013): 232-253. Full Text

Huang, Y, Witelski, TP, and Bertozzi, AL. "Anomalous exponents of self-similar blow-up solutions to an aggregation equation in odd dimensions." Applied Mathematics Letters 25.12 (2012): 2317-2321. Full Text

Witelski, T, Ambrose, D, Bertozzi, A, Layton, A, Li, Z, and Minion, M. "Preface: Special issue on fluid dynamics, analysis and numerics." Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series B 17.4 (2012): i-ii. Full Text

Wiebe, R, Virgin, LN, and Witelski, TP. "A parametrically forced nonlinear system with reversible equilibria." International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos 22.6 (2012). Full Text

Aydemir, E, Breward, CJW, and Witelski, TP. "The effect of polar lipids on tear film dynamics." Bull Math Biol 73.6 (June 2011): 1171-1201. Full Text

Bernoff, AJ, and Witelski, TP. "Stability and dynamics of self-similarity in evolution equations." Journal of Engineering Mathematics 66.1 (2010): 11-31. Full Text

Aguareles, M, Chapman, SJ, and Witelski, T. "Motion of spiral waves in the complex Ginzburg-Landau equation." Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena 239.7 (2010): 348-365. Full Text

Witelski, TP. "The subtle art of blowing bubbles (News and Views: Fluid Dynamics)." Nature Physics 5 (May 2009): 315-316. (Academic Article)

Hwang, HJ, and Witelski, TP. "Short-time pattern formation in thin film equations." Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems 23.3 (2009): 867-885. Full Text