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

Schaeffer, DG, Shearer, M, and Witelski, T. "One-dimensional solutions of an elastoplasticity model of granular material." Math. Models and Methods in Appl. Sciences 13 (2003): 1629-1671. (Academic Article)

Witelski, TP. "Nonlinear Differential Equations, Mechanics and Bifurcation." Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems - Series B 3.4 (2003): i-.

Shearer, M, Schaeffer, DG, and Witelski, TP. "Stability of shear bands in an elastoplastic model for granular flow: The role of discreteness." Mathematical Models and Methods in Applied Sciences 13.11 (2003): 1629-1671. Full Text

Glasner, KB, and Witelski, TP. "Coarsening dynamics of dewetting films." Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics 67.1 2 (2003): 163021-1630212.

Glasner, KB, and Witelski, TP. "Coarsening dynamics of dewetting films." Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 67.1 Pt 2 (January 2003): 016302-. Full Text

Bernoff, AJ, and Witelski, TP. "Linear stability of source-type similarity solutions of the thin film equation." Applied Mathematics Letters 15.5 (2002): 599-606.

Bertozzi, AL, Grün, G, and Witelski, TP. "Dewetting films: Bifurcations and concentrations." Nonlinearity 14.6 (2001): 1569-1592. Full Text

Vaynblat, D, Lister, JR, and Witelski, TP. "Rupture of thin viscous films by van der waals forces: Evolution and self-similarity." Physics of Fluids 13.5 (2001): 1130-1141. Full Text

Witelski, TP, Schaeffer, DG, and Shearer, M. "A discrete model for an ill-posed nonlinear parabolic PDE." Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena 160.3-4 (2001): 189-221. Full Text

Vaynblat, D, Lister, JR, and Witelski, TP. "Symmetry and self-similarity in rupture and pinchoff: A geometric bifurcation." European Journal of Applied Mathematics 12.3 (2001): 209-232. Full Text