Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Mathematical Sciences

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jeff R. Knisley

Committee Members

Debra J. Knisley, Anant P. Godbole


In Reaction-Diffusion systems, some parameters can influence the behavior of other parameters in that system. Thus reaction diffusion equations are often used to model the behavior of biological phenomena. The Fitzhugh Nagumo partial differential equation is a reaction diffusion equation that arises both in population genetics and in modeling the transmission of action potentials in the nervous system. In this paper we are interested in finding solutions to this equation. Using Lie groups in particular, we would like to find symmetries of the Fitzhugh Nagumo equation that reduce this non-linear PDE to an Ordinary Differential Equation. In order to accomplish this task, the non-classical method is utilized to find the infinitesimal generator and the invariant surface condition for the subgroup where the solutions for the desired PDE exist. Using the infinitesimal generator and the invariant surface condition, we reduce the PDE to a mildly nonlinear ordinary differential equation that could be explored numerically or perhaps solved in closed form.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.