Ordinary Differential Equations & Linear Algebra 2250

TEXT:   Differential Equations and Linear Algebra, 2nd Edition, by Jerry Farlow, James E. Hall, Jean Marie McDill, Beverly H. West; Prentice Hall publisher.

PREREQUISITES: Within the last year, you must have completed a second semester or third quarter Calculus course with a grade of C or better. Concurrent enrollment in Math 2210 and Math 2250 requires departmental approval.


COURSE DESCRIPTION:  To develop foundations for a theoretical understanding and working knowledge of ordinary differential equations and linear algebra as they relate to modeling problems in science and engineering.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  We develop standard classical techniques of solving ordinary differential equations including first order equations, second and higher order linear equations, systems, and Laplace transforms. We also examine the qualitative nature of solutions and study numerical methods to obtain solutions. Applications include population models, motion and resonance, equilibrium solutions, and electric circuits. The linear algebra portion includes the study of systems which may have none, one, or infinitely many solutions; vectors, determinants, matrices, and eigenvalues as they relate to solving systems of linear equations and systems of differential equations.

CLASS SCHEDULE: Attached is a tentative schedule for the course.  This schedule will be followed as closely as possible; however, some modifications may be necessary during the semester.  Your instructor will announce all modifications in class.


FLOW CHART:  It has been my experience that if a student can explain important concepts in mathematics, they perform and understand on a much higher level than other students. Mathematics can be explained in four different ways:  verbal (or written), algebraically, graphically, and using data, lists, or tables.  With this course we will take yet another approach that will use mostly verbal and algebraic means.

As we learn the various techniques used to solve different types of differential equations, you will create a flow chart that shows direction in solving them.  I will show you in class the format (a mindmap) that you must all use.  It is via a free Internet program from Mindomo.  You will need to keep in mind the following things as you create this chart.

  1. 1.            List the criteria in the form of a yes/no question that is needed to use a particular technique.
  2. 2.            Show direction with a visual representation.  This is to be done neatly and clearly showing what direction to be taken.
  3. 3.            Follow through with directional questions until a particular equation can be solved.
  4. 4.            No formula may be used until all the criteria are met and then you will need to say:  “solve the differential equation using the following formula” and then give the formula.  With some techniques there will be no formula, just steps used to solve it.
  5. 5.            You will need to do this with each technique until your flow chart will be able to walk you through any type of differential equation that I could give you on your final exam.

Your flow chart will be graded halfway through the course for a preliminary grade.  You will need to give me the link to your mindmap at this time.  Your flow chart will be given a final grade at the end of the course.

You will not be allowed to use this chart on any exam; it is only a tool to prepare you for the exams.

Homework:   Homework is due at the beginning of each exam.  I encourage you to spend that evening before an exam reviewing rather than doing homework.  Once again, please have your homework done before the review day so you can ask any questions.

  1. Please read the directions on my webpage for turning in any written homework.
  2. Find on my webpage a cover sheet for to be stapled to your homework. Please follow it carefully.   Incomplete cover sheets may result in no points for your homework.

Examples done in class and homework problems are similar to the problems that will be on course examinations and the final exam. Regular practice is essential for success in mathematics. You should not only understand how to do the homework but why problems and theorems work the way they do.  Learn the why’s of your homework, not just the how’s!

Quizzes: There may be in-class quizzes throughout the semester and treated as homework.

Computer Labs: There may be computer labs assigned as homework.  All relevant software is accessible in the Math Dept. Lab (and may be available in other labs as well).


Exams:   There will be four exams and a final exam during the semester. Exams will be taken during a scheduled class period.  NO MAKE-UP EXAMS will be given.   If you know you will be gone for an exam, please come and see me before the exam.  It is up to the discretion of the instructor to allow an exam to be taken at a different time and place. I only allow this once (if at all) and only if you have a valid reason supported with documentation.  I waive the right to allow this if I think your reason is not valid.  Full credit will be awarded on exam problems only if your work can be readily followed and work supported solutions are precise and clearly indicated.  NO WORK, NO CREDIT!

A new math department policy is in place for receiving points back on chapter exams.  I will discuss this in class.

Final Exam:  The Finals schedule is found in the Spring 2013 Class Schedule. The location will be announced.  It is NOT an option for the students to not take this exam. Students should make arrangements with employers now to be free at the appointed time.  The final exam will be a comprehensive examination emphasizing topics listed under the course objectives.  It is an SLCC Math Department policy that students attaining a score of less than 60% on the final shall receive a grade no higher than “D” for the course.

Permanent Folder: In case of human or computer error, keep all homework, projects, quizzes, and exams in a folder until you have received a grade for the course.

Cheating Policy: Students found cheating on tests will receive an “E” for the entire course. There will be no tolerance for cheating.  The student code of conduct covers this particular issue on pages 39-41. The link is: http://www.slcc.edu/policies/docs/Student_Code_of_Conduct.pdf.

GRADING: Grades will be awarded as follows:

A 100 – 93% of possible points      C 76 – 73%

A- 92 – 90%                                       C- 72 – 70%

B+ 89 – 87%                                      D+ 69 – 67%

B 86 – 83%                                         D 66 – 63%

B- 82 – 80%                                       D- 62 – 60%

C+ 79 – 77%                                      E below 60%


The following is a breakdown of weights used in the calculation of the course grade:


Homework                             10% of final grade

Flow Chart                            10% of final grade

Projects                                  5% of final grade

Chapter Exams                    50% of final grade

Final Exam                            25% of final grade


WITHDRAWAL POLICY: Students may drop from the course through

February 4, 2013. Students may withdraw from the course through March 26, 2013. No withdrawals will be approved after that date.


CLASSROOM DEPORTMENT: Each student is responsible for her/his own behavior. Any student who shows a pattern of disrespect for others or who at any time displays student code of conduct.


ATTENDANCE: Class attendance is STRONGLY advised. Regular attendance is essential to achieve satisfactory results. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of all material covered, tests dates, and assignment due dates. Your instructor will outline specific attendance policies.


ACCOMMODATIONS: Students with disabilities needing accommodations such as: accommodated testing, interpreting, note-taking, taped textbooks, assistive technology, equipment, accessibility arrangements, etc., must contact their instructor and/or the Disability Resource Center (Redwood Student Center Room 244 or South City Campus Room W138), 957-4659 (voice), 957-4646 (TTY), 957-4947 (FAX).

EXTRA HELP: Please use your instructor’s office hours to ask any questions – you can either phone or visit in person. You are also encouraged to send any questions via e-mail. Tutoring is available in the Math Lab (phone 957-4839) at Redwood SI092 or at the SCC Learning Center, N308. Finally, use each other as a resource! Study groups are invaluable and the Math Lab or Learning Center provides a convenient gathering place. A list of private tutors who may be hired is available in the Learning Centers.


http://rwdacad01.slcc.edu/academics/dept/math/shaider/2250/2250.html. This page is provided by one of SLCC’s math faculty members and contains very useful information for 2250. Caution: not all of the information will be used in your course.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: SLCC is committed to fostering and assessing the following student learning outcomes in its programs and courses:

* Acquiring substantive knowledge in the field of their choice
* Developing quantitative literacy
* Developing the knowledge and skills to be civically engaged
* Thinking critically
* Communicating effectively

Finally, read and be aware of the regulations set forth in the Spring 2013 Schedule and the SLCC college catalog.  Please see your instructor ASAP about any problems that are affecting your work in this class.

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