MATH 2090: Elementary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra

MATH 2090
Elementary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra

Fall 2001

Section 4 Instructor: Dan Cohen Phone: 578-1576
M T W Th 12:40 - 1:30 Office Hours: M T W 1:30 - 2:30* E-mail: cohen@math.lsu.edu
232 Coates Office: 372 Lockett URL: www.math.lsu.edu/~cohen
* I will also hold office hours by appointment.

TextDifferential Equations and Linear Algebra, Second Edition, by Stephen W. Goode.
We will cover (portions of) Chapters 1-9, and may cover some material not included in the text if time permits.

Catalog Description:  Introduction to first order differential equations, linear differential equations with constant coefficients, and systems of differential equations; vector spaces, linear transformations, matrices, determinants, linear dependence, bases, systems of equations, eigenvalues, eigenvectors, Laplace transforms, and Fourier series.

Homework I will assign homework problems essentially every class. Homework will not be collected. Homework assignments will be announced in class, posted on my web page, and occasionally discussed in class as necessary.

Exams There will be four hour-long, in-class exams, each worth 100 points. These exams will tentatively take place during the weeks of September 17, October 8, October 29, and November 19. Exam dates will be announced in class. No make-up exams, except in extreme cases. If you must miss an exam, you should notify me before the exam takes place.

Final There will be a comprehensive final exam worth 200 points.
The final exam is scheduled for Saturday, December 15, 12:30 - 2:30 pm.

Grade:   Your course grade will be out of the 600 possible points outlined above. I typically curve course grades. However, 90-100% is assured an A, 80-89% a B, and so on.    

Important Dates:    
September 4 last day to drop September 3 Labor Day
September 6 last day to add October 11-12 Fall Holiday
November 9 last day to withdraw November 22-23 Thanksgiving

Notes:   As the titles of the course and text indicate, our objective is to introduce differential equations and linear algebra. These two subjects are tools you will undoubtably encounter and have occasion to use as you progress through your science and/or engineering courses. We will develop methods for solving (certain classes of) differential equations and problems in linear algebra. We will also endeavor to develop an understanding of why these methods work. To this end, we will work with objects known as vector spaces. The ideas we develop will, among other things, provide us with a means of understanding the theory underlying the solution of linear differential equations. There is, however, no such thing as a free lunch. The level of abstraction in, for instance, chapters 5 and 6 will probably be somewhat higher than what you've encountered in prior courses.

In general, to stay on top of the material, it is important that you attend class, read the text, and do the homework regularly.

Bear in mind that you are taking this course under the guidelines of the Code of Student Conduct.


Dan Cohen   Fall 2001
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