Course Description This is meant to be an introductory course on Differential equations. It is meant to be somewhat more serious and interesting than the course you would take at the Pasadena City College on the same subject, but perhaps less single-mindedly rigorous than a course you might take in mathematics graduate school on the subject of ordinary differential equations. A traditional City College style course would focus a little too much on just the question of how to write down explicit solutions to equations. Different equations are different so this might acquire a bit of a cookbook character. My aim is to teach much of the same material but emphasize the underlying concepts. We will also discuss differential inequalities somewhat more than is traditional in a first course. The reason is that it is not too hard to do this, and it gives you a way to say things rigorously about solutions to differential equations which you don't know explicitly. The course is more than an algebra course, and more than a calculus course, but it isn't Math 1a either. You may occasionally see me do an epsilon-delta proof, you are still acknowledged to know what one is, but that isn't the emphasis here. The goal is to be able to use your ingenuity and all the background you have , Math 1a,1b, and 1c, to say everything you can about solutions to differential equations. Like every mathematics course at Caltech, Math 2 will be rigorous, you are expected to answer questions on a problem set in complete sentences, and if what you have written makes no sense, it can be counted wrong. But all of this is subject to the aims of the questions you are asked. There will be no textbook. My lecture notes, found at the bottom of this page will play the role of the textbook. Eventually, they may be gathered into a single file, with better formatting and a snazzy title like "Differential Equations for Dilettantes" but for now, we have what we have. GradingThere will be 8 problem sets, a midterm exam and a final. Your grade will be determined by - Problem sets 40%
- Midterm Exam 30%
- Final Exam 30%
The grading scale will not be set in advance. Course Meeting Time and Location LecturesMonday, Wednesday and Friday 10:00 - 10:55 B122 Gates Chemical Laboratory (GCL, Building 26) Recitations Thursday
If you would like to switch your recitation section, please email Meagan with your preferred recitation time. Announcements- I, Nets Katz, regret deeply that I must be away for the first week of the term. For this reason, the first three lectures will be delivered by Oleg Ivrii. Please be nice to him. He'll be doing his best. If anything goes wrong, it is my fault. The lectures he is meant to be delivering are available at the bottom of the page as lecture1.pdf, lecture2.pdf, and lecture3.pdf. Please read them. They represent my point of view as to what is going on and even the jokes might give you some clues about, e.g., how to approach the problem sets.
Course Instructor Contact Information and Office Hours276 Cahill TA Contact Information and Office HoursCourse Schedule and Lecture Notes
Course Policies and other remarks by the hacker who is teaching this course:Problem set due dates and times: Problem sets will be turned in to boxes which are now located somewhere in Downs. The due dates are Mondays. The due times are 2 A.M. This is so you can get lots of sleep after turning in the set and before class, and so that with each week's classes, the past week's assignment is already in the rearview mirror so to speak. Late work - Late work won't be accepted without a dean's excuse preferably received in advance. Recitations - Please go to the recitations. Each week, a portion of the recitation will be dedicated to introducing some computational (or even theoretical) aspect which the instructor will not have time to present in class or possibly to something else entirely. The TA's will not do your problem sets for you under any circumstances but they will do whatever they can to help you understand the course. In theory, all TA's for a course are interchangeable. Students are in the habit of picking favorites and crowding their sections and office hours. This isn't necessarily a good idea. My advice [this is Nets, hacking into the website] is to find the least popular TA you can and follow him or her as an oracle. The less popular your TA is, the more time he or she has to talk to you. In general, get to know your TA and bug him/her with your questions, and try to fill in all the holes in your understanding. I didn't write that sentence but basically agree with it. In fact, you could try to be in touch with your TA about how to customize the section to meet your preferences. Of course it helps if all the students in the section are with you. Sometimes it is hard to tell. But try to help the TA. If it is obvious Assignments
Midterm and Final ExamCollaboration Table
* You may use a computer or calculator while doing the homework, but may not refer to this as justification for your work. For example, "by Mathematica" is not an acceptable justification for deriving one equation from another. Also, since computers and calculators will not be allowed on the exams, it's best not to get too dependent on them. |