Dr. Sarah Raynor

Professor of Mathematics & Department Chair







  • Office: 126 Manchester Hall
  • Phone: (336) 758-4466
  • Email: raynorsg ‘at’ wfu.edu
  • Homepage
Dr. Sarah Raynor (she/her) graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1998 with exceptional distinction in Mathematics and distinction in Physics, and earned her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003 under the supervision of Prof. David Jerison. She did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Fields Institute and the University of Toronto before joining the faculty at Wake Forest in 2004. She has been chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics since 2018. She is a mathematical analyst who studies partial differential equations. Her primary research interests are in dispersive PDEs and in free boundary problems; these problems come from mathematical models of physical or other scientific systems. Dr. Raynor very much enjoys working with students on any kind of analysis, differential equations, or mathematical modeling projects. In her spare time, Dr. Raynor is a serious knitter and fiber crafter, as well as a competitive bridge player.

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ph.D. June 2003, in Mathematics
    Thesis title: Regularity of Neumann Solutions to a Free Boundary Problem
    Thesis advisor: David Jerison

  • Yale University
  • B.S. May 1998, Summa cum laude with Exceptional Distinction in Mathematics
    Undergraduate thesis title: Modeling Sonoluminescence
    Undergraduate thesis advisor: Alan Chodos

  • Semilinear dispersive PDEs: questions of well-posedness and qualitative behavior.
  • Free boundary problems: regularity of the solution and its interface. Semilinear elliptic PDEs: Existence of positive solutions.

Professional Website
  • J. Gemmer, G. Moon, and S. Raynor, “Solutions to a Two-Dimensional, Neumann Free Boundary Problem,” J. Applicable Analysis, 99 (2020), 214-231.
  • T. Luo and S. Raynor, “Modeling Traffic with Human Variation,”The Pi Mu Epsilon Journal, 14 (2019), 639-648.
  • B. Pigott and S. Raynor, “ Long-term stability for KdV solitons in weighted Hs spaces, ” Comm. Pure Appl. Anal., 16 (2017), 393-416.
  • J. Marzuola, S. Raynor, and G. Simpson, “ Nonlinear Bound States in a Schodinger-Poisson System with ¨ External Potential,” SIAM J. on Appl. Dyn. Systs., 16 (2017), 226-251.
  • B. Pigott and S. Raynor, “ Asymptotic Stability for KdV Solitons in Weighted Spaces via Iteration,” Illinois J. Math., 58 (2014), 443-470.
  • P. Moon, J. Muday, S. Raynor, J. Schirillo, R. Taylor, and M. Fairbanks, “ Fractal Images Produce Fractal Pupillary Dilations, ” International Journal of Psychophysiology, 93 (2014) 316-321.
  • J. Marzuola, S. Raynor, and G. Simpson, “ Dynamics Near the Minimal Mass Soliton for the KortewegdeVries Equation, ” Dyn. Syst., 29 (2014), 285-299
  • M. Chhetri, S. Raynor, and S. Robinson, “ On the Existence of Multiple Positive Solutions to Some Superlinear Systems,” Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinburgh Sect. A, 142 (2012), 39-59.
  • J. Marzuola, S. Raynor, and G. Simpson, “ A System of ODEs for a Perturbation of a Minimal Mass Soliton,” J. Nonlinear Sci., 20 (2010), 425-461.
  • S. Raynor, “ Neumann fixed boundary regularity for an elliptic free boundary problem,” Comm. Partial Differential Equations 33 (2008), 1975–1995.
  • M. Chhetri, P. Drabek, S. Raynor, and S. Robinson, “ Nonvariational Problems with Critical Growth,” Nonlinear Anal. 68 (2008), 2092-2103.
  • J. Colliander, S. Raynor, C. Sulem, and J. D. Wright, “ Ground State Mass Concentration in the L 2 -Critical Nonlinear Schrodinger Equation Below H1 ,”, Math. Res. Lett. 12 (2005), 357-375.
  • S. Raynor and G. Staffilani. “ Low Regularity Stability of Solitons for the KdV Equation”, Comm. Pure Appl. Anal. 2 (2003), 277-296.
  • A. Chodos and S. Groff, “Modeling Sonoluminescence,”Phys. Rev. E, 59 (1999), 3001-3007.

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