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Syllabus of Math 611, Section 600

Introduction to Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations

Fall 2011, Instructor Peter Kuchment

Office Rm. Blocker 614A, Telephone (979)862-3257

E-mail:, Home Page: /~kuchment

Section: 600, Time: MWF 9:10 am - 10:00 am, Room: BLOC 164
Textbook: L. C. Evans, Partial Differential Equations: 2nd edition , American Math. Society, 2010.
Office hours: MW 10:10-11:00, F 10:10-10:30, Blocker 614A
Additional office hours can be arranged by appointment.


The class starts with a brief excursion into basic facts concerning Ordinary Differential Equations and then shifts to the Partial Differential Equations.

Besides numerous applications inside mathematics (e.g., to geometry), the PDEs form the core part of our scientific understanding of the physical world: from physics to chemistry, to biology, to meteorology, you name it.

The class (except the short initial ODE part) will be based on the well respected textbook by L. Evans. It is planned to cover Part I "Representation formulas for solutions" of the book. This includes a study of the four major PDEs: transport, Laplace, heat, and wave equations, as well as analysis of 1st order non-linear PDEs and other methods of representing solutions (Fourier transform, separation of variables, asymptotics, etc.).

This study will be continued in the next class Math 612 that will most probably cover the Part II of the book "Theory of linear PDEs" (including more general initial value and boundary value elliptic, hyperbolic, and parabolic problems, spectral theory, etc.).


MATH 410 or equivalent or instructor's approval.


Grading will be based on home assignments and a take-home final exam.
Tentative schedule of the course (watch for updates)
Week Topics and sections Home assignments and recommended exercises Exams
8/29 - 9/02 A survey of main theorems on ODEs HW1, PDF file, due 9/07 n/a
9/05 - 9/23 Chapter 1 and Sections 2.1, 2.2 of Chapter 2 HW2: PDF file , due 10/03. The problem #8 is moved to the extra credit part
9/26 - 10/14 Chapter 2, Sections 2.3, 2.4 TBA n/a
10/17 - 11/04 Chapter 3 TBA n/a
11/07 - 12/02 Chapter 4 TBA Final exam (take home)
Percentage of points Grade
90% and higher A
80% and higher B
70% and higher C
60% and higher D
Less than 60% F

Recommended additional reading:

All of the books below are written by great experts in differential equations, all are written well and provide interesting and rewarding reading. This list is certainly far from being comprehensive, it just contains some of the instructor's favorites. These books approach the subject from different perspectives, and so reading (or at least browsing through) all of them is a good idea for someone who wants to learn the ODEs and PDEs. Do not try to do this in one semester, though :-).

Ordinary Differential Equations

Partial Differential Equations

Make-up policy:

Make-ups for missed quizzes, home assignments and exams will only be allowed for a university approved excuse in writing. Wherever possible, students should inform the instructor before an exam or quiz is missed. Consistent with University Student Rules , students are required to notify an instructor by the end of the next working day after missing an exam or quiz. Otherwise, they forfeit their rights to a make-up.

Grade complaints:

Sometimes the instructor might make a mistake grading your work. If you feel that this has happened, you have one week since the graded work was handed back to you to talk to the instructor. If a mistake is confirmed, the grade will be changed. No complaints after that deadline will be considered.

Scholastic dishonesty:

Copying work done by others, either in-class or out of class, is an act of scholastic dishonesty and will be prosecuted to the full extent allowed by University policy. Collaboration on assignments, either in-class or out-of-class, is forbidden unless permission to do so is granted by your instructor. For more information on university policies regarding scholastic dishonesty, see University Student Rules .

Students with Disabilities:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Services for Students with Disabilities, Koldus 126, 845-1637.

Copyright policy:

All printed materials disseminated in class or on the web are protected by Copyright laws. One xerox copy (or download from the web) is allowed for personal use. Multiple copies or sale of any of these materials is strictly prohibited.


This syllabus is subject to change at the instructors' discretion

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Last revised August 28th, 2011