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:

Course Website:
Course grades and general course announcements will be posted on ODTUClass. The website contains links to further course resources.

Textbook: Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems, Boyce, W. E., DiPrima, R. C., 9th ed. (available at the bookstore)

Exams and Grading: Course grades are determined by a midterm exam, three short exams and a final exam as well as a small number of bonus points. Policies for bonus point awards may vary between sections.

  • Midterm Exam: 30%
  • Short Exams: 3x10% = 30%
  • Final Exam: 40%
  • Bonus: 7% (method varies between sections)

  • TOTAL = 107%

Suggested Problems: A list of suggested problems is announced on the course website. Students are encouraged to attempt to solve all of these problems in a timely manner, and ask the instructors about the ones that they cannot solve. At least one problem in each exam, including short exams, will be chosen among these problems.

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