Thomas P. Witelski

Thomas P. 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

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., The Cooper Union 1991

Witelski, T., et al. “Preface: Special issue on fluid dynamics, analysis and numerics.” Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems  Series B, vol. 17, no. 4, June 2012. Scopus, doi:10.3934/dcdsb.2012.17.4i. Full Text

Wiebe, R., et al. “A parametrically forced nonlinear system with reversible equilibria.” International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, vol. 22, no. 6, Jan. 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1142/S0218127412300200. Full Text

Aydemir, E., et al. “The effect of polar lipids on tear film dynamics.Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, vol. 73, no. 6, June 2011, pp. 1171–201. Epmc, doi:10.1007/s11538-010-9555-y. Full Text

Aguareles, M., et al. “Motion of spiral waves in the complex Ginzburg-Landau equation.” Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, vol. 239, no. 7, Apr. 2010, pp. 348–65. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.physd.2009.12.003. Full Text

Bernoff, A. J., and T. P. Witelski. “Stability and dynamics of self-similarity in evolution equations.” Journal of Engineering Mathematics, vol. 66, no. 1, Jan. 2010, pp. 11–31. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s10665-009-9309-8. Full Text

Witelski, T. P. “The subtle art of blowing bubbles (News and Views: Fluid Dynamics).” Nature Physics, vol. 5, May 2009, pp. 315–16.

Hwang, H. J., and T. P. Witelski. “Short-time pattern formation in thin film equations.” Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems, vol. 23, no. 3, Mar. 2009, pp. 867–85. Scopus, doi:10.3934/dcds.2009.23.867. Full Text

Smolka, L. B., and T. P. Witelski. “On the planar extensional motion of an inertially driven liquid sheet.” Physics of Fluids, vol. 21, no. 4, Jan. 2009. Scopus, doi:10.1063/1.3094026. Full Text

Witelski, T. P. “Fluid dynamics: The subtle art of blowing bubbles.” Nature Physics, vol. 5, no. 5, Jan. 2009, pp. 315–16. Scopus, doi:10.1038/nphys1265. Full Text

Gratton, M. B., and T. P. Witelski. “Transient and self-similar dynamics in thin film coarsening.” Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, vol. 238, no. 23–24, Jan. 2009, pp. 2380–94. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.physd.2009.09.015. Full Text