Peter Selinger: Math 316, Winter 2000
Math 316, Differential Equations
Winter 2000
Peter Selinger

Time: MWF 2-3.
Location: 3088 East Hall.

Course Description: This course is an introduction to differential equations for students who have studied linear algebra. You will learn about exact and approximate techniques for solving differential equations, as well as methods for predicting the qualitative behavior of the solutions. We will prove theorems about the existence and uniqueness of solutions. Throughout the course, we will consider applications to physical problems. I will give proofs in class, and the homework will contain computational as well as more conceptually oriented problems. Contents: First-order equations: solutions, existence and uniqueness, and numerical techniques; linear systems: eigenvector-eigenvalue solutions of constant coefficient systems, fundamental matrix solutions, nonhomogeneous systems; higher-order equations, reduction of order, variation of parameters, series solutions; qualitative behavior of systems, equilibrium points, stability.

Prerequisites: Math 215 or 285, and Math 217.

Textbook: Boyce and DiPrima. Elementary Differential Equations, Sixth Edition. Wiley, 1997.

Course Work: There will be weekly homework assignments. We will have two in-class midterms and a final exam. The final exam is scheduled for Tuesday, April 18, from 1:30-3:30. There will be weekly homework.

Grading: Grades will be based on the exams and homework. Performance in class may be taken into account. Each midterm counts 20%, the final 35%, and the homework 25%.

Office Hours: To be announced. My office is 3847 East Hall. Phone: 763-0292. Email:

Course Homepage: Updated information, homework sets, any handouts, etc., will be available from

To Peter Selinger's Homepage: [home]
Peter Selinger / Department of Mathematics and Statistics / Dalhousie University / PGP key
Updated Jan 5, 2000