Differential Equations
MS 316-01
Margie Hale, Spring 2008

 Contact Information: 214-5 Elizabeth Hall ext. 7551 campus box 8340 http://www.stetson.edu/~mhale/ Office Hours: Mon 11:00 - 11:50, 2:30 - 3:20 Wed 11:00 - 11:50 Fri 11:00 - 11:50 or by appointment

This document and its links are available on the course web site.

Course Overview   At Stetson, differential equations is an elective math course of the "applied" variety, although there is a good deal of theory in the field.

In this course you will be introduced to the field by exploring the basic questions:

1. What is a differential equation?
2. Why is a differential equation?
3. What is a solution to a differential equation?
4. How is a solution to a differential equation found?

Text and Software   The book is Blanchard, Davaney, & Hall, Differential Equations, 3rd edition, chapters 1-3 and 5. It is both readable and amusing. We will be using Mathematica to support the concepts and calculations. Learning to program is part of the course.

Prerequisites

• The basics of calculus, especially Integration and Complex Numbers. See the reviews posted on Blackboard.
• Linear Algebra: 2 × 2 matrices as linear transformations of 2, properties of linear transformations, kernels & subspaces of 2, singular and nonsingular matrices, determinants, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors.
• Calculus 3: parametric equations, vectors, vector equations of lines in 2 and 3, vector fields, contour plots, chain rules.
• Logic & Proof: basic logic, mathematical grammar, quantifiers, notation, sets, functions.

Grading   Your grade will be based on 3 tests (20% each), a project (10%), homework (5%), and a final exam (25%). The grading scale is A 90-100%, B 80-90%, etc.

Policies and Due Dates   You must take the major tests during the scheduled class time unless you have a valid excuse cleared with me ahead of time. Test dates are Wednesday 9/17, Wednesday 10/8 (the day before fall break), Friday 11/14, and (final) Tuesday 12/9, 4-6 pm. Tests will include a take-home Mathematica portion that will be 10% of the test grade. Likewise, 10% of the final exam grade will be your total Mathematica portfolio. Please see the grading rubric for the portfolio.

The project is individual, and can be a lab from the book or a topic in the book not covered by me. Talks are the week before Thanksgiving, and papers are due the last day of class. Please consult with me well before the due dates to be sure you're on the right track. Also see the Guidelines for Mathematics Papers and the Guidelines for Mathematics Talks on the course web page.

Homework should consume about 6 hours per week outside of class. At least one even-numbered problem, more at your option, is collected daily at the beginning of the class period. It must be written neatly on one side of the paper, stapled. You may send assignments with a friend if you miss class.

Attendance is expected. Previous students have found that loyal attendance (3 or fewer absences) is required for success in my courses.

Assistance   All work on in-class tests must be your own: no books, notes, or other people. You may receive help on Mathematica, projects, and homework from me or classmates, but the final product must be your own interpretation in your own words. I support the Stetson University Honor System.

This is an upper level course for mature mathematics students. You are responsible for learning the material, reading the text, identifying your questions and difficulties, talking with me inside and outside of class, keeping up with the syllabus, reading your email, and knowing class policies. Visit my web site to find out more about me and about the course. If you have special needs, please don't hesitate to discuss them, either with me or with the Academic Resources Center.

Communication   I use Blackboard to communicate important information about the class. Also see my contact information above. You are welcome in my office, my voicemail, and my Inbox.