Ordinary Differential Equations I

 Math 1270, Fall 2017

Time and place: MWF 11:00-11:50 pm, 627 Thackeray Hall

Instructor: Prof. Anna Vainchtein (aka Dr. V)

Grader: Lifeng Wang, LIW87@pitt.edu, MAC hours: Monday and Wednesday 5:00-7:00pm, Friday 12:00-1:00pm.


About the course:

This course covers the basic theory and applications of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) at the undergraduate level. Topics include classical methods of solving first order linear and nonlinear ODEs, linear higher order ODEs and systems of first order linear ODEs, as well as qualitative geometric analysis of autonomous systems of nonlinear first order ODEs.

Text: Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems, by William E. Boyce and Richard C. DiPrima, John Wiley & Sons, 2012, 10th edition.

Course schedule and homework problems


Important announcements

The grader (Lifeng Wang) has office hours on Monday and Wednesday 5:00-7:00 pm and Friday 12:00-1:00 pm at the Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC), located in room 215 of O'Hara Student Center,  4024 O'Hara St.


Homework: Each week I will assign a set of problems to be handed in, out of which selected problems will be graded. Solving homework problems is essential to learn the material.  You may discuss the problems with one another but you must write your own solutions. It is your responsibility to regularly check here for current homework assignments. Homework will be due each Friday at the end of class. If you cannot be in class that day, your homework must be in my mailbox in Thackeray 301 by 12 pm Friday. Early submissions are welcome.

I encourage everyone to start working on the homework assignment early enough so that I can answer any questions you might have during my office hours on Wednesday. If you have classes during my regular office hours, email me your Wednesday schedule, and we will set up a different time to meet on Wednesday. While I will respond to emails, I am rarely available to meet in person on Thursdays, so starting an assignment early is important. You will also find that you need an early start to complete the homework on time.


Exams: There will be two in-class midterm exams, tentatively scheduled for Monday, October 2 (Exam 1) and Monday, November 13 (Exam 2), and the comprehensive final exam on Tuesday, December 12, 12-1:50 pm (room TBA). All exams are closed book, closed notes but you may bring a one-page handwritten "cheat sheet" to each exam.  Calculators or any other electronic devices, including cell phones, will not be allowed (or needed) during the exams.


Rules: Class attendance is expected. Barring exceptional circumstances (of which I must be notified immediately), no late homework is accepted and there will be no make up exams.


Grades: (Tentative as of 8/28/17) Your class grade will be determined as follows: