Oklahoma State University - Department of Mathematics

Differential Equations (MATH 2233-1) Spring 2009


You are expected to attend class on a regular basis and participate in class discussion. Because of the high correlation between poor attendance and low grades, attendance will be taken at the beginning of each lecture. I expect you to inform me about your reason for each unattended lecture. Attendance can influence the final grade in borderline cases. You are responsible to know the material covered in class and that in the corresponding sections in your textbook.


Working on example problems is the key to understand abstract concepts. Therefore there is a homework assignment for each lecture in the course schedule. You turn in your solutions at the end of the lecture at the given due date. If there is no lecture at this day, you put your solutions in the drop box at the math office MS401 before 2:00pm. Make sure that you write your and my name and the course and section number on the front page. Late submissions will not be accepted. Your homework score determined by a grader is part of your final grade.

For students with honors contract there are additional homework problems in the course schedule. These are due at the following midterm.


Be prepared for 5-minutes in-class quizzes that count toward your final grade. These quizzes will not be announced and there are no make-up quizzes. Books, notes, and electronic devices are not permitted during quizzes.


There will be 3 midterm exams and a final exam which contribute to your final grade. Each exam will be announced in class and appear online in the course schedule. Make-up exams will be given only under exceptional circumstances and if you contact me in advance. Books, notes, and electronic devices are not permitted during exams. Example solutions for the exams can be found in the solutions section.


To gain credit your answers must be clearly presented. Your work must show how you proceeded to find the answer or why your answer is correct. Scratch work should be clearly separated from what is to be graded and the final result should be marked by drawing a rectangle around it.

The contributions to your total score will be weighted as follows.

ContributionHomework + Quizzes3 Midterm ExamsFinal Exam
Weight (final grade)20%3 x 15%35%
Weight (6-week grade)30%1 x 70%NA

Your total score will be truncated to an integer percentage and determines your final grade as follows.

Total Score0-59%60-69%70-79%80-89%90-100%
Letter GradeFDCBA

Curving may be applied in form of a linear adjustment to all scores on a particular exam. I reserve the right to decide borderline cases based on class attendance and subjective impressions such as effort and conscientiousness.

How to learn?

Your starting points are the textbook and the lecture. It is easier to follow the lecture if you have seen the material before and presented from a slightly different point of view. I strongly recommend that you read each section in your textbook at home before it is covered in class. Try to isolate what you do not understand and be prepared to ask questions during the lecture.

Do not hesitate to ask questions. If something is unclear to you in class, just ask. You can be sure that many of the other students have the same question but do not dare to ask. If you let me know what your problems are, I can adapt the lecture and make it easier for you to follow. There are no stupid questions. On the contrary, asking the right question is often an important step in the process of solving a problem.

The importance of working on example problems can not be overemphasized. Try to work on the homework problems intensively and pick additional similar problems from your textbook.

Discussion is crucial to understand mathematics. I strongly encourage you to discuss both the material covered in class and your solutions of the homework problems with other students in your section. The best way to check your own understanding of a subject is to explain it to someone else.

Where to get help?

Ideally you solve the homework problems on your own or working with other students. If you realize that you do not understand the homework problems, seek help immediately. With a backlog of not understood material it extremely difficult to catch up with the class again.

Free tutoring and other services for this and similar mathematics courses are provided by the Mathematics Learning Resource Center (MLRC). For more information, see http://www.math.okstate.edu/mlrc.

You are always welcome to see me in my office hour or contact me by email if you have any questions or problems. If my office hours do not fit your schedule, please contact me by email for an appointment.

Course Schedule

The following course schedule is preliminary.

Date Sections
Content Homework
Due Date Honors Contract
101/121.1Examples and Direction Fields1-4,7-10,15-2001/14
201/141.2-1.3Solutions and Classification1.2:1,3,4
301/162.1First Order Linear Equations and Integrating Factors1,2,13-16,31,3201/23
401/212.1First Order Linear Equations and Integrating Factors11,12,30,35,37,4001/23
501/232.2Separable Equations4,5,6,9,11,1801/2630
601/262.2Separable Equations10,13,15,17,22,2501/30
701/28University closed
801/302.4Existence and Uniqueness of Solutions1,2,3,6,11,12,13,1402/0224,25
902/022.6Exact Equations and Integrating Factors3,7,9,11,21,22,25,2602/04
1002/042.7Euler's Method1,1202/06
Review Session
1302/113.1Homogeneous Equations with Constant Coefficients7,8,13,14,18,2402/13
1402/133.2Fundamental Solutions of Linear Homogeneous Equations3-6,7-1002/18
1502/163.2Fundamental Solutions of Linear Homogeneous Equations13,14,16,19,21,2502/1828,29
1602/183.3Linear Dependence and the Wronskian3,5,13,15,21-23,2502/204.1.20
1702/203.4Complex Roots of the Characteristic Equation4,5,18,20,27,29,3102/2330
1802/233.5Repeated Roots6,8,13,1402/25
1902/253.5-3.6Reduction of Order and Nonhomogeneous Linear Equations3.5:24-27, 3.6:34,35, X102/27
2002/273.6The Method of Undetermined Coefficients1,4,5,12,13,1803/02
2103/023.6-3.7Undetermined Coefficients and Variation of Parameters3.7:1-4 03/04
2203/043.7Variation of Parameters
2303/063.1-3.7Review Session
2403/093.1-3.7MIDTERM 2
2503/114.1Higher Order Linear Equations5,10,14,15,22,2703/13
2603/134.2Homogeneous Equations with Constant Coefficients5,7,13,15,17,19,21,2303/23
03/16Spring Break
03/18Spring Break
03/20Spring Break
2703/235.1Review of Power Series5,6,7,8,14,16,1703/25
2803/255.1Review of Power Series20,21,23,25,27,2803/27
2903/275.2Series Solutions near an Ordinary Point5,704/01
3003/305.2Series Solutions near an Ordinary Point9,10,14,2204/01
3104/015.3Series Solutions near an Ordinary PointX2,6,7,8,1204/03
3204/035.4Regular Singular Points5,9,11,14,15,1804/06
3304/065.6Series Solutions near a Regular Singular Point1,3,4,7,1604/10
3404/085.6Series Solutions near a Regular Singular Point
Review Session
3704/155.7Series Solutions near a Regular Singular Point13,14,15,1704/20
3804/176.1The Laplace Transform6,7,10,15,18,1904/20
3904/206.2Solution of Initial Value Problems7,8,13,16,19,2104/22
4004/226.3Step Functions9,15,18,19,20,2704/24
4104/246.4Equations with Discontinuous Forcing Functions1,3,904/27
4204/276.6The Convolution Integral1,8,9,10,13,14N/A
Review Session
Review Session

Xtra Homework Problems

Problem X1. Abbreviate by D the operation of applying d/dt.

Problem X2. Draw the monomial diagram of the operator and and determine whether the operator is ordinary, regular singular, or irregular singular at x0=0. Note that D=d/dx.


Academic Integrity

I will respect OSU's commitment to academic integrity and uphold the values of honesty and responsibility that preserve our academic community. For more information, see http://academicintegrity.okstate.edu.


This syllabus may be subject to future changes and it is your responsibility to be informed. Any change of the syllabus will be announced in class and appear online.