# Math 224--01: Differential Equations---Syllabus & Course Info, Spring 2000

## M 12:00--1:50PM in Olin 132 WF 12:00-12:50PM in Olin 249 Final 10:30A.M. Tuesday, 9 May

### Instructor Info

Instructor: Dr. Gavin LaRose
Office: Olin 109A
Office Hours: M 2-4P, Tu 2-3P, We 9-10:30A, & Th 2-3:30P (but come by anytime!)
Phone: (402 465-)2208
E-mail: glarose@umich.edu
Web: http://www.mathcs.nebrwesleyan.edu/~glarose/
Class Web: .../classes/diffeq

### This Course

is a first course in differential equations. It is an upper-level course in mathematics. And it is an applied course. These three facts inform the course construction and its goals, and have implications for its philosophy & expectations. You should, and I will, expect (you) to do homework, projects and labs: mathematics is learned constructively, by your working out the ideas and your understanding of them yourself---thus the only way to learn the material is to do the work. However, this is not a one-way street: I am here to help you learn, and will do everything I can to help you do the work, learn and do well in the course---and to have fun doing so.

### Text

Differential Equations, 1st ed., by Borelli & Coleman,
and the Spring 2000 NWU Differential Equations Lab Manual

### Course Goals

for this semester are
• to understand what differential equations are and how they model the real world,
• to know how to analytically solve linear and separable first-order and linear constant-coefficient second-order differential equations, as well as systems of linear constant-coefficient differential equations and a few others,
• to know how to numerically solve most differential equations, and how numerical solvers work,
• to understand the theoretical underpinnings of the solution of differential equations, especially the implications of linearity, linear independence and when solutions are guaranteed,
• to be better at writing about mathematics, and at using tools such as Mathematica in mathematics,
• to be better at problem solving and critical thinking,
• and, last but not least, to have enjoyed having worked and learned throughout the semester.

### Evaluation

 36% I2CA2s 26% Comprehensive Final 15% Projects (3) 10% Homework & In-class work 10% Labs (about 10) 3% Reading Homework

### Course Work

will consist of
• Individual In-Class Assessment Activities, which are tentatively scheduled for 11 Feb, 10 Mar, and 14 Apr. These will cover, approximately, chapter 1, chapters 2--3, and chapters 5 and 7.
• the Comprehensive Final is 9 May at 10:30AM. I may increase the weighting of the final for students scoring better on the final than other class activites (especially I2CA2s).
• Projects are worked on by pairs of students, and are hard, real-world problems demanding the use of the material we cover. Solutions are written up as a paper, and are tentatively due 21 Feb, 3 Apr, and 5 May.
• Homework will be due on an approximately semiweekly basis. Plan on doing all of it.
• Labs will be done approximately weekly, be completed individually or with a partner and submitted as a writeup elegantly formatted in Mathematica, no later than the Wednesday following the lab period in which they were worked on.
• Reading Homework will be due whenever a reading assignment is due. They serve to encourage you to read (3% = 1/2 to 3/4 of a letter grade), and help you see what is important in the reading. They will be graded on a 0--2 point scale at the beginning of each class and will not be accepted late. If you miss class for a legitimate reason you will be automatically given credit for the reading homework.

### Quote 1

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth try.

J. Mitchener

### Course Policies

• Makeups: I do not give makeups except in cases of 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 at my discretion give partial credit for late work, but this is neither guaranteed nor will it be uniform.
• Attendance: I do not take attendance. However, if you do not come to class you may expect to do, at best, poorly in this course.
• Letter Grades: I do not assign letter grades until the end of the semester. At that time anyone with a score of 90 or higher is guaranteed an ``A,'' etc. I may adjust these boundaries downwards, but not upwards, at the end of the semester if I see fit.
• Use of the Web: I endeavor to make use of the Web to facilitate the availability of information that you need to succeed in this class, to make it easier for you to determine how things are going in the class, and, most importantly, to assist your learning in the class. To this end,
1. I will post all homework assignments on the Web from the course home page,
2. Grades are posted on the Web, password protected (see me for your password; your usename is your first initial + your last name---e.g., mine would be `glarose`). All material on the page is anonymous, and you only see grades for your work and a subset of the class averages,
3. I will also post clarifications of class material on the Web. I will leave a few minutes at the end of every class period in which you will write out in a couple of sentences answers to the questions ``what was the central theme of this class period,'' and ``what about this was least clear.'' I will collect these and, if there is a consistent misunderstanding of a particular topic, will post a clarifying explanation on the course Web page. There may also be a Web form on which you can submit additional comments in this vein.

``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.''

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.

### Quote 2

Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.

Sir Winston Churchill

### 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.
Gavin's DiffEq Syllabus, Spring '00