"You see this little hole? This moth's just about to emerge. It's in there right now, struggling. It's digging it's way through the thick hide of the cocoon. Now, I could help it - take my knife, gently widen the opening, and the moth would be free - but it would be too weak to survive. Struggle is nature's way of strengthening it."

--Locke (

MTHSC 208-001 Course Syllabus

MTHSC 208-002 Course Syllabus

Section 2: First Order Differential Equations. Solving 1st order ODEs using separation of variables, the integrating factor method, and variation of parameters. Strucutre of solutions to 1st order linear ODEs, and connections to parametrized lines. Models of motion with air resistance. Mixing problems. The logistic equation as a population model.

Section 3: Second Order Differential Equations. Models that use 2nd order ODEs. Solving homogeneous linear 2nd order ODEs. Solving inhomogeneous ODEs using the method of undertermined coefficients. Simple harmonic motion. Harmonic motion with damping and with forcing terms. Solving 2nd order non-constant coefficient ODEs. The power series method, and the theorem of Frobenius.

Section 4: Systems of Differential Equations. Intro to linear algebra: Adding and multiplying matrices. Writing systems of linear equations with matrices, inverses and determinants of 2x2 matrices, eigenvalues and eigenvectors of 2x2 matrices. Using linear algebra to solve systems of two 1st order linear ODEs x'=Ax; 3 cases (i) real distinct eigenvalues, (ii) repeated eigenvalues, (iii) complex eigenvalues. The SIR model in epidemiology.

Section 5: Laplace Transforms. Definition and properties of the Laplace transform. Using Laplace transforms to solve ODEs. Using the Heavyside function to express, and take the Laplace transform of, piecewise continuous functions. Solving ODEs with discontinuous forcing terms. Taking the Laplace transform of periodic functions. Impulse functions and delta functions.

Section 6: Fourier Series. Introduction to Fourier series -- derivation and computation. Even and odd functions, and Fourier cosine and sine series. Complex version of Fourier series. Parseval's identity and applications to series.

Section 7: Partial Differential Equations. The (1-dimensional) heat and wave equations. Analysis of different boundary conditions. Introduction to PDEs in higher dimensions. Harmonic functions, Laplace's equation, and steady-state solutions to the heat equation. Solving Laplace's equation, the heat equation, and the wave equation in two dimensions.

Worksheet 2a: Separation of variables

Worksheet 2b: Integrating factor

Worksheet 2c: Mixing problems

Worksheet 3a: 2nd order ODEs with constant coefficients

Worksheet 3b: Method of undetermined coefficients

Worksheet 3c: Mass-spring systems

Worksheet 4a: Basic linear algebra

Worksheet 4b: Systems of differential equations (real eigenvalues)

Worksheet 4c: Systems of differential equations (complex eigenvalues)

Worksheet 4d: Systems of differential equations (repeated eigenvalues)

Worksheet 5a: Laplace Transforms

Worksheet 5b: Properties of Laplace Transforms

Worksheet 5c: Solving ODEs with Laplace Transforms

Worksheet 5d: Inverse Laplace Transforms

Worksheet 5e: Laplace Transforms and the Heavyside Function

Worksheet 5f: ODEs with Piecewise Forcing Terms

Worksheet 6a: Fourier Series

Worksheet 6b: Complex Fourier Series

Worksheet 6c: Parseval's Identity

Worksheet 7a: The Heat Equation

Worksheet 7b: The Wave Equation

Worksheet 7c: The 2D Heat Equation

Homework 2. Due Tuesday, July 6th at 4pm.

Homework 3. Due Friday, July 9th at 4pm.

Homework 4. Due Tuesday, July 13th at 4pm.

Homework 5. Due Friday, July 16th at 4pm.

Homework 6. Due Tuesday, July 19th at 4pm.

Homework 7. Due Friday, July 23rd at 4pm.

Homework 8. Due Tuesday, July 27th at 4pm.

Homework 9. Due Friday, July 30th at 4pm.

Homework 10. Due Monday, August 2nd at 4pm.

Homework 11. Due Wednesday, August 4th at 4pm.

Week 2 summary. (5 lectures: Section 2, pp. 12-18. Section 3, pp. 1-23.) Section 4, pp. 1-4).

Week 4 summary. (5 lectures: Section 5, pp. 4-15. Section 6, pp.1-13. Section 7, pp. 1-4.)