Math 219 Introduction to Differential Equations (Fall 2015)

Course syllabus (pdf)

Credit: 4
Frequency: Fall/Spring Terms

Catalog description: First order equations and various applications. Higher order linear differential equations. The Laplace transform. Solutions of initial value problems. Systems of linear differential equations. Introduction to partial differential equations.

Course Objectives: By the end of this course, a student will:

  • classify and identify different types of differential equations,
  • explicitly solve several important classes of ordinary differential equations and interpret their qualitative behaviour,
  • apply ideas from linear algebra in order to solve single linear ordinary differential equations and systems of such equations,
  • model certain physical phenomena using differential equations and reinterpret their solutions physically,
  • apply the Laplace transform for solving differential equations,
  • use the method of separation of variables in order to solve some basic partial differential equations via Fourier series.

Course Coordinator: Benjamin Walter      (office: T-124, phone: x3001, email:

ODTU-Class: [MAT 219 All Sections]
Class notes, grades, homeworks, and announcements will be posted on ODTU-Class.

Textbook: Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems, Boyce, W. E., DiPrima, R. C., 9th ed. (available at the bookstore)
(Also see the class notes of Ö. Kişisel and B. Walter posted on ODTU-Class.)

Exams and Grading: Course grades are determined by two (non-cumulative) midterm exams, a cumulative final exam, a small amount of weekly webwork and some bonus.

  • Midterm Exams: 2x 30%
  • Final Exam: 35%
  • Weekly WebWork: 5% (2 problems per lecture, due Monday at 10:30)
  • Bonus: 5% (determined by written problem solutions or problem solutions during class)
The FD / DD cutoff will be 45. The BA / AA cutoff will be 87. Other letter grades will be distributed evenly (every 7 points).

Written and Suggested Problems: A list of suggested problems from the book is posted on ODTU-Class, solving these is optional but recommended. Also, a small set of further problems will be posted weekly on ODTU-Class; every other week, one of these will be indicated as written homework to be turned in and graded. Every week a small assignment will be posted to WebWork. At least 50% of the exam will be chosen from these problems.

Exams: Dates for all exams are set by the university administration. We will announce the dates as soon as they are known. Students are assigned random seating for each exam; please sit according to the posted seating charts. Calculators and cell phones are not allowed during exams; all cell phones should be left on the desk at the front of the exam room during the exam time.

NA Policy: If you miss all midterm exams and final exam, you will receive a grade of NA for the course.

Make-up Policy: In order to be eligible to enter the make-up examination for a missed examination, a student should have a documented or verifiable and officially acceptable excuse. It is not possible to make up multiple missed exams. The make-up examination for all exams will be after the final exam, and will include all topics.

Math Help Room: Office hours will be held in the mathematics help room (T-103). Students are encouraged to visit the help room both at the office hours of their own instructors, and others. The room can also be used for studying and for working in groups.

Reference Books:

  • Ross, S. L. Differential Equations, 3rd ed., John Wiley and sons, New York.
  • Elsgolts, L. Differential equations and the calculus of variations. Mir, Moscow, 1973.
  • Arnold, V. Ordinary differential equations, MIT Press, 1998.

S1 - B. Walter Mon 13:40-15:30
Thu 8:40-10:30
S2 - B. Walter Mon 10:40-12:30
Wed 10:40-12:30
S3 - A. Dosi Tue 10:40-12:30
Thu 10:40-12:30
S4 - A. Dosi Mon 10:40-12:30
Wed 10:40-12:30
S5 - K. Aker Tue 10:40-12:30
Fri 8:40-10:30
S6 - K. Aker Mon 13:40-15:30
Thu 8:40-10:30

Important Dates
  • October 5: Classes Start
  • October 12-16: Add-Drop
  • October 29: HOLIDAY (Thursday)
  • December 7-11: Withdrawal period
  • December 23: HOLIDAY (Wednesday)
  • January 1: HOLIDAY (Friday)
  • January 8: Classes End
  • January 11-23: Finals Period
  • January 30: Grades Announced
  • January 30-February 1: Resit Exams