Math 53: Autumn 2014


This is a first course in ordinary differential equations. The material includes separation of variables; integrating factors and exact differential equations; systems of linear differential equations; eigenvalues and eigenvectors; the method of variation of parameters; the Laplace transform; systems of nonlinear differential equations, and conservation laws.
This course will focus on teaching "cookbookstyle" methods for solving concrete problems. Students interested in a prooforiented course should look into Math 53H.
For a more detailed syllabus see the schedule of topics.
Prerequisites: Single Variable Calculus (Math 192021, or 4142, or equivalent); Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus (Mathematics 51 or equivalent)

Math 53 students attend lectures on MWF and discussion sections on TTh. After you have enrolled in a MWF lecture on Axess, you need to use CourseWork to enroll in a TTh section as explained here.

The text for the course is Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems: An Introduction to Modern Methods and Applications  Second Edition, by Brannan and Boyce. If you have problems finding the textbook at the campus bookstore, please contact your instructor.

Your final grade is calculated by averaging your homework, midterm, and final examination scores as follows:
 Homework: 15%
 This is a nontrivial portion of your grade, so be sure to spend time completing your homework assignments. (Your lowest homework score will be dropped before this average is computed; this policy is to accommodate exceptional circumstances such as a serious illness.)
 Two Midterm Exams: 25% each
 Dates and times forthcoming.
 Final Exam: 35%
 Date and time forthcoming.
A note regarding homework: There will be weekly homework assignments to be turned into your TA at the beginning of your discussion section. No late homeworks will be accepted. To accommodate exceptional situations such as a serious illness, your lowest homework score will be dropped. For homework assignments and other general information, see the Homework page.
A note regarding exams: All exams for Math 53 are closedbook, closednotes, with no calculators or other electronic aids permitted. If you have a courserelated or competitionrelated schedule conflict with a midterm exam, you must contact your instructor at least a week in advance of the exam to make arrangements for an alternate (early) sitting. No other schedule conflicts are accommodated. For more information on exams, including previous exams, see the Exams page.


