a ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are built for--anonymous
- Instructor: Dr. Gavin LaRose
Office: Olin 109A
Office Hours: M,Tu,Th 2-4PM
- (but come by anytime!)
- Phone: (465--)2208
Math/CS WWW: http://www.mathcs.nebrwesleyan.edu/
This page: http://www.mathcs.nebrwesleyan.edu/~glarose/classes/diffeq/
(username for the grade page is your first initial and last name --e.g.,
glarose; password is your student ID number, e.g.,
Text: Differential Equations, 1st ed., Borelli and Coleman; and the Spring 1999 NWU Differential Equations Lab Manual
This is an applied math course, taken by engineers and mathematicians. We are therefore interested in seeing the many fantastic applications of mathematics in this field, and also a glimpse of the powerful theory that underlies the application and mathematics that we see. In the applications are a powerful motivation to study the mathematics and exciting evidence of the inclusiveness of this field, and in the theory is a subtle beauty that provides for the consistency and effectiveness of the applications that we study. In this interplay there is a lot of fun to be had---and this is a fun course.
Goals: This is a first course in differential equations, and is concerned with the learning of mathematical material and the development of other related skills. In the first category, our objectives are for you at the end of the course to
In addition, we want you to have further developed those skills intrinsic to the study of math, and
- understand the meaning of differential equations, from the point of view of rates of change and physical applications,
- understand the nature of solutions to differential equations, both numerical/approximate and, where possible, exact, and how to find these,
- understand the theoretical issues involved in the solution of differential equations, including linearity and linear independence, and
- be able to solve most differential equations numerically using Mathematica or a similar solver/package.
- be able to think better in a logical manner and have improved problem solving skills,
- have developed additional skills with Mathematica and similar numerical tools,
- be better at writing---especially writing precisely about technical things, and
- leave the course having learned a lot, and having had fun learning it despite the work it entailed.
"Cheshire Puss," [Alice] began..., "would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where---," said Alice
"then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"---so long as I get Somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Makeups: I do not give makeups or allow alternate times for TAFKATs except in cases of medical emergencies or if we have agreed to it (e.g., because of sports involvement) at least a week in advance.
- Late Work: An assignment is late if it is submitted after I have graded the work of the remainder of the class. I may give credit for late work, but this will be no more than 50% of that for the assignment and I reserve the right to give no credit at my discretion.
- Attendance: I do not take attendance. However, if you do not come to class you are unlikely to be doing the coursework and will be likely to fail the course.
- Letter Grades: I do not assign letter grades until the end of the semester. In general, any overall average in the 90s at that time is guaranteed some sort of ``A,'' etc. I may adjust the boundaries between grades down but not up if I see fit.
35% TAFKATs 25% Comprehensive Final 16% Projects (3) 10% Homework and In-class Work 10% Labs (about 10) 4% Reading Homework
Explanation of Assignments:
- TAFKATs3: are tentatively scheduled for 22 February (Chp 1,2), 19 March (Chp 3,4), and 26 April (Chp 5,7).
- Homework: will be due approximately every class period. If you do not do the homework, you should not expect to do well in this class.
- Projects: are applied, real-world problems you will work on with a partner to produce a complete, written solution. Details of projects will be introduced when they are assigned.
- Labs: will appear approximately weekly (we will do about ten). They will be completed either individually or in pairs, in lab, and require a writeup elegantly formatted in Mathematica. They will be completed individually or with a partner.
- Reading Homeworks: are short, daily homeworks which will serve to (1) get you to actually read the book, and (2) provide an idea of some of the things to look for in the reading. These will be graded on a 0--2 scale, and will not be accepted late. If you miss class for a legitimate reason you will be automatically given credit for the reading homework.3: (those activities formerly known as tests)
NWU's ADA statement:
``NWU seeks to maintain a supportive academic environment for students with disabilities. To ensure their equal access to all educational programs, activities and services, Federal law requires that students with disabilities notify the University, provide documentation, and request reasonable accommodations. If you need accommodations in this course, please notify me so that I can verify that the required documentation is filed with the Academic Affairs Office and that your accommodation plan is in place.''
Academic integrity is one of the basic principles of a university community. Nebraska Wesleyan therefore both encourages and expects the highest standards of academic honesty from all students. The Student Code of Conduct states that ``cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty'' are subject to disciplinary action. Refer to the Student Code of Conduct for additional information. Any student who violates these principles of academic integrity will fail this course.
Another type of assessment
As part of an effort to assess the success of this course at meeting its goals (as indicated above), anonymous copies of student assignments may be retained by the instructor unless a student requests otherwise. Any retained copies have no bearing on the students' grade and will in general not be considered until after the close of the semester.
Fall down seven times, get up eight
Gavin's Differential Equations Syllabus
Last modified: Tue Jan 19 19:46:59 CST 1999
Comments to glarose@NebrWesleyan.edu