Thomas Peter Witelski

Image of Thomas Peter Witelski

Professor in the Department of Mathematics

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.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor in the Department of Mathematics
  • Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Contact Information:


  • Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 1995
  • B.S.E. Cooper Union, 1991

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions:

  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2003
  • Sloan Research Fellowship-Mathematics. Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 2000

Courses Taught:

  • MATH 218: Matrices and Vector Spaces
  • MATH 551: Applied Partial Differential Equations and Complex Variables
  • MATH 553: Asymptotic and Perturbation Methods
  • MATH 577: Mathematical Modeling
  • MATH 790-71: Current Research in Applied Mathematics

Representative Publications:

  • Ji, H; Witelski, TP, Instability and dynamics of volatile thin films, vol 3 no. 2 (2018) [10.1103/PhysRevFluids.3.024001] [abs].
  • Gao, Y; Ji, H; Liu, J-G; Witelski, TP, Global existence of solutions to a tear film model with locally elevated evaporation rates, Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, vol 350 (2017), pp. 13-25 [10.1016/j.physd.2017.03.005] [abs].
  • Ji, H; Witelski, TP, Finite-time thin film rupture driven by modified evaporative loss, Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, vol 342 (2017), pp. 1-15 [10.1016/j.physd.2016.10.002] [abs].
  • George, C; Virgin, LN; Witelski, T, Experimental study of regular and chaotic transients in a non-smooth system, International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics, vol 81 (2016), pp. 55-64 [10.1016/j.ijnonlinmec.2015.12.006] [abs].
  • Smolka, LB; McLaughlin, CK; Witelski, TP, Oil capture from a water surface by a falling sphere, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, vol 497 (2016), pp. 126-132 [10.1016/j.colsurfa.2016.02.026] [abs].