Thomas P. Witelski, Professor
Contact Info:
Office Location:295 Physics Bldg
Office Phone: 001(919) 6602841
Email Address: witelski@math.duke.edu
 Education:
 Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, California Institute of Technology, 1995
B. S. in Engineering, Cooper Union, School of Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, 1991
Stuyvesant High School, New York, 1987
 Research Interests: Perturbation Methods, Asymptotic Analysis and Numerical Methods, Partial differential equations
 My primary area of expertise is the solution
of nonlinear ordinary and partial differential equations via perturbation
methods. Using asymptotics along with a mixture of other applied mathematical techniques in
analysis and scientific computing I study a broad range of applications
in physical systems. Focuses of my work include problems in viscous fluid flow, industrial applications, flow in porous media, mathematical
biology.
Through my research I am working to extend the understanding of
nonlinear diffusion processes in physical systems. Studying problems in
a range of different fields has given me a unique opportunity to
interact with a diverse set of collaborators and to transfer analytic
techniques across the traditional boundaries that separate fields.
 From "The Anxious Mind" by R.M. Henig, New York Times magazine (Oct 4,
2009)
"There are two kinds of great research," Susan Engel, a developmental
psychologist at Williams College, told me when I discussed Kagan's study
with her. "There's research that is counterintuitive, that shows you
something you'd never guess on your own, and there's research that shows
you irrefutably what you had an intuition about, something you thought
was true but didn't have evidence to support."

A good quote from the Sunday New York Times Magazine (Dec 11, 2005)
interview with Peter Watson
(author of "Ideas:
a history of thought and invention from Fire to Freud"):
"[...] where do you think ideas come from?
[...] Everybody who has had a great idea
or made a great realization has been working very hard at it, and they often
have failed many times. You don't go from nothing to a great idea without
doing a lot of work."

Great quotes in mathematical modeling
* Colin: It's obvious!
Peter: It's "obvious" in what sense?
[...]
Colin: [paraphrased] Nevermind, its wrong :)

Mathgeek random word puzzle: Take an interesting mathematical adjective, add the letters M,A to it to make an interesting medical adjective. What words are these?
Go to my official web page at
Duke Math