## Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

12-2012

#### Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Ferhan Atici (Director), Dr. Lan Nguyen, Dr. Ngoc Nguyen, Dr. Nancy Rice, Dr. Tom Richmond

#### Degree Program

Department of Mathematics

#### Degree Type

Master of Science

#### Abstract

This thesis consists of six chapters. In the first chapter, we review some basic definitions and concepts of fractional calculus. Then we introduce fractional difference equations involving the Riemann-Liouville operator of real number order between zero and one. In the second chapter, we apply the Brouwer fixed point and Contraction Mapping Theorems to prove that there exists a solution for up to the first order nabla fractional difference equation with an initial condition. In chapter three, we define a lower and an upper solution for up to the first order nabla fractional difference equation with an initial condition. Under certain assumptions we prove that a lower solution stays less than an upper solution. Some examples are given to illustrate our findings in this chapter. Then we give constructive proofs of existence of a solution by defining monotone sequences. In the fourth chapter, we derive a continuous form of the Mittag-Leffler function. Then we use successive approximations method to calculate a discrete form of the Mittag-Leffler function. In the fifth chapter, we focus on finding the model which fits best for the data of tumor growth for twenty-eight mice. The models contain either three parameters (Gompertz, Logistic) or four parameters (Weibull, Richards). For each model, we consider continuous, discrete, continuous fractional and discrete fractional forms. Nihan Acar who is a former graduate student in mathematics department has already worked on Gompertz and Logistic models . Here we continue and work on Richards curve. The difference between Acar’s work and ours is the number of parameters in each model. Gompertz and Logistic models contain three parameters and an alpha parameter. The Richards model has four parameters and an alpha parameter. In addition, we use statistical computation techniques such as residual sum of squares and cross-validation to compare fitting and predictive performance of these models. In conclusion, we put three models together to conclude which model is fitting best for the data of tumor growth for twenty-eight mice. In the last chapter, we conclude this thesis and state our future work.

#### Disciplines

Analysis | Applied Mathematics | Mathematics | Numerical Analysis and Computation

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