Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Reader 1

Andrew Bernoff

Reader 2

Jorge Aarao


Burgers’ Equation ut + cuux = νuxx is a nonlinear partial differential equation which arises in models of traffic and fluid flow. It is perhaps the simplest equation describing waves under the influence of diffusion. We consider the large time behavior of solutions with exponentially localized initial conditions, analyzing the rate of convergence to a known self similar single-hump solution. We use the Cole-Hopf Transformation to convert the problem into a heat equation problem with exponentially localized initial conditions. The solution to this problem converges to a Gaussian. We then find an optimal Gaussian approximation which is accurate to order t−2. Transforming back to Burgers’ Equation yields a solution accurate to order t−2.

jmiller-2000-prop.pdf (36 kB)
Thesis Proposal