### Surprises in a classic boundary-layer problem

## Abstract

Over the years, I've often taught a first course in asymptotics and perturbation methods, even though I don't know much about the subject. In this talk, I'll discuss a textbook example of a singularly perturbed nonlinear boundary-value problem that has revealed delightful new surprises, every time I teach it. These include a pitchfork bifurcation in the number of solutions as one varies the small parameter, and transcendentally small terms in the solutions' initial conditions that can be calculated by elementary means.