AMAT311  Ordinary Differential Equations

MWF 9:20-10:15  ES 147


Instructor: Professor Edward Thomas  ES 132F

Phone 442-4623

Best way to reach me is by email:

Office hours: MWF 10:25-10:45, 12:50-1:30, 2:45-3:15 plus any time I am not otherwise occupied, and, if all else fails, by appointment.

A link to the class webpage will be found at:


Text: Elementary Differential Equations by Edward and Penney; we will be covering Chapters 1 through 4, plus other topics if time permits.


   You need to have this text on the first day of class, not at some indeterminate later date (see the next paragraph.) If you show up on the first day of class without the text, I will take this as a sign of LACK OF PREPARATION.


  In this course, you can learn both technique and theory by doing problems. So I am going to assign problems EVERY SINGLE DAY, starting on day one. They will be collected, graded and returned to you at the next meeting and will serve as the springboard for what comes next. You should assign them high priority…I’m not kidding on this.



  Daily assignments will count one third of the grade. The other two thirds will come from a Midterm and a Final.



   Let’s articulate some ground rules:


> First...there will be ABSOLUTELY NO CELL PHONES, LAPTOPS or any other type of electronic devices in use during class. Please take care of business and TURN THEM OFF before you enter the classroom.


>Second…please DO NOT come to class late as it is disruptive. Be in your seat, mentally alert and ready to participate, at 9:20 when class begins.


> Third  If you get sick or have some other kind of emergency, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH ME as soon as you can so we can work things out.


 > Fourth, classes begin on Monday, August 29th. ( You wouldn’t believe it but in the past some peeps thought they could begin classes on a day of their own choosing. That was a BIG mistake.


   One productive thing you could do before classes begin is to dig out your good old Calc 2 text and do as many integration problems as you have the time and energy for.


June 22nd….added note: Will you need a calculator? Yes…at the very least, you will need a basic scientific calculator that does exponentials, logs and trig functions. You don’t need a graphing calculator…I’ll take care of all that for you.


 July 26th  ….  Here are a couple of numerical problems that you should be able to do with your calculator:

  >Solve for k: 1.5 = e6000k.

   > once you’ve done that, solve for t : 3300 = ekt  ( Answer: t is approximately 120,000 )

     > with the same k, solve: 150 = ekt  ( t is around 75,000 )


In case you’re wondering, problems like these come up in studying the proliferation of languages.