MATH 360/560 Differential Equations Spring 2002

Room and hours: PS 304, 10:00- 10:50 A, MWF 

Instructor: Muhammad Zafrullah                                                                                                                                                             Office: PS 328 G

Phone: 282-2892 (Department), and 208-478-2759, (home) e-mail: 

Office hours: MWF 11:10- 11:50 AM, 6:00-7: 00 PM or by appointment.

Textbook: Elementary Differential Equations, by W. E. Boyce and R. C. DiPrima, 7th Edition, John Wiley & Sons Publishers, 2001.

Course prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of Math 230 and Math 275 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

Syllabus: We will cover Chapters 1 through 7 of the textbook.

Course Description: One purpose of this course is to introduce you to the idea of linking rates of change of the most important quantity/quantities involved in a natural phenomenon to give a mathematical picture (or model) of the phenomenon. Such a mathematical model involves differential coefficients and it is in the form of equations, hence the name differential equations. Once you have the differential equation(s), you want to find out if you can get good estimates of the variable that was the object of your study. For this you seek to "solve" the differential equations. Now Mathematicians and Physical Scientists have been doing that for centuries, and it is possible that your model (i.e. differential equation) matches with one of the models studied by someone say a hundred years ago, give and take some constants. If you knew that, you would follow his steps and solve the problem right away. Another purpose of this course is to acquaint you with some standard differential equations and their solutions. As can be suspected most of these "standard differential equations" have applications in Physical Sciences and Engineering. But a lot of pure Mathematics has gone into and grown out of the study of differential equations. So this course has a lot to offer to all interested students. Next, this is a cruel world not all differential equations have a well-defined and clear-cut solution. Another purpose of this course is to acquaint you with the ideas of existence and uniqueness of solutions, numerical approximations of solutions and indirect qualitative observations to ascertain the validity of your model.

Homework: Homework will be assigned at the end of each section but will be collected occasionally.

Calculator/Computer requirement: No hand held calculator requirement. You must have a student account on the ISU computer network. We will have some class meetings in computer classrooms and there will be some computer-based assignments.

Tests, quizzes and grading: There will be:

Grades: The allocation of grades will be as follows: 100 points each for the three in-class tests, 50 points for the reading assignments, and 200 for the final. The homework will be worth 100 points. In all you will be working for 650 points. (There will be no make-ups. If you do have legitimate and documented excuse for missing a test, your grade will be recalculated without that test, provided you have appeared in the remaining tests.)

Grading scale will be approximately as in the following table:

Grade  A B C D
% 90-100 80-89 70-79 60-69

(Note: I do reserve the right to give bonus points to those whose performance in the class turns out to be outstanding. Being nice to me will not help. You will have to show performance, by participating in class-discussions, by asking questions and by getting good grades.)

Changes in policies: Course policies are subject to change. Any changes will be announced in class. You are responsible for keeping track of any such announcements.

Notes: (1) Past experience indicates that you will need at least 10 hours of study per week, in addition to the 3 contact hours, if you want to get good grades in this class. Try not to miss classes. It is not always possible to see the useful points on your own.
(2) Reading the textbook, as the course progresses, enhances the understanding of the subject. Doing homework regularly also helps and allocating some study time to prepare for tests also improves the grades.

Disabilities: If you have or you believe you have a disability that may require accommodation on the part of ISU, call 282-3599 to make an appointment with Robert Campbell, Director of the Center for Students with Disabilities.

Academic Honesty: You may work with other students on most assignments, but you are expected to write your own solutions and reading assignments. There will be no tolerance for cheating or plagiarism. University policies will be enforced in such cases.