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Iordanka Panayotova

Iordanka Panayotova

Assistant Professor

Luter Hall 369


  • Ph D in Applied Mathematics, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
  • Ph D in Computational Mathematics, National Academy of Sciences
  • MS in Mathematics, Sofia University, Bulgaria


Calculus; Differential Equations; Perturbation Methods; Finite Difference Methods; Mathematical Modeling; Asymptotic Methods.


Mathematical modeling and simulation, numerical methods, differential equations, finite difference methods, turbulence, and hydrodynamic stability.


Dr. Panayotova has received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 2005 and a Ph.D. in Computational Mathematics from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in 2000. She got her M.S. in Mathematics from Sofia University, Bulgaria in 1992. From 2005 to 2007 she has been a Research Scientist at the Institute for Scientific Research at Boston College, MA where her research on clear air turbulence was supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory. From 2007 to 2014 she has been an Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University. From 2014 to 2016 she has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Virginia Wesleyan College, and since 2016 she is working at Christopher Newport University. Dr. Panayotova has 16 published articles, and 30 presentations at domestic and international professional meetings. During her carrier, Dr. Panayotova has thought a variety of undergraduate and graduate level classes, including Calculus and Differential Equations, Perturbation Methods, Finite Difference Methods, and special courses as Introduction to Meteorology. Dr. Panayotova has been working with both graduate and undergraduate students, mentoring them on a variety of research topics including mathematical modeling of the climate change in the Arctic, modeling of Ebola outbreak, and of the many species interactions in Chesapeake Bay, as well as evolutionary biology, hydrodynamic stability and turbulence. Dr. Panayotova's current research is focused on modeling and simulation the aerodynamics of spider ballooning. The goal of this project is to identify the crucial physical phenomena driving this unique dispersal process. For this purpose a 2D and a 3D models are investigated. Mathematically, the model is described as a fully-coupled fluid-structure interaction problem of a flexible dragline moving through a viscous, incompressible fluid. The immersed boundary method is used to solve this complex multi-scale problem. Specifically, an adaptive and di

  • Conference Proceeding
    Spider Ballooning: Simulating take-off, flight, and settling. Virginia Journal of Science.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2017). Flying Spiders: Simulating and Modeling the Dynamics of Ballooning. Women in Mathematical Biology, Association for Women in Mathematics Series. Volume, 8. Pages, 179-210.
  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    (2017). Revisiting the Physics of Spider Ballooning. Women in Mathematical Biology, Association for Women in Mathematics Series. Volume, 8. Pages, 163-178.
  • Iordanka Panayotova, SIAM Annual Meeting, "Numerical Simulations of the Aerodynamics of Spider Ballooning," Portland, OR. (2018)
  • Iordanka Panayotova , Jordan Hines, Jessica Masterson, Virginia Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, "Spider Ballooning: Simulating take-off, flight, and settling," Longwood University. (2018)

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