Ellen R. Peterson
Center for Nonlinear Analysis
RTG Postdoctoral Associate

Picture of Ellen

Office: Wean Hall 7122
Phone: 412-268-2162
email: ellenp@andrew.cmu.edu


Math 21-369: Numerical Methods
Time: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:30-1:20
Room: Porter Hall A18A

This course provides an introduction to the use of computers to solve scientific problems. A variety of numerical algorithms and applications will be discussed. In-class demonstrations and examples will be presented using MATLAB.



My research interests include the dynamics of fluid flow, specifically thin liquid films. My PhD thesis focused on the spreading of an initially uniform layer of liquid driven by surfactant (a surface tension reducing agent).  I investigated this problem using numerical techniques and asymptotic methods. We also compared the mathematical model, a fourth order nonlinear PDE system of equations: one equation for the height of the film and another for the surfactant concentration, to experimental results.

I am currently examing the flow of a thin film when a droplet of another substance is deposited. This problem encorporates various issues including the non-newtonian behavior of the underlying film and that the droplet carries soluble surfactant.
This work is in collaboration with the Interfacial Physics Group at Carnegie Mellon. We are investigating the spreading of an aerosol medicine in the lungs as a treatment for cystic fibrosis.