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Syllabus for Math 24
Ordinary Differential Equations
Fall 2016


Nai-Chia Chen
Email: nchen22 at
Office: McHenry 4178
Office Hours: M: 11-12PM, W: 1-2PM, F: 11-12PM, or by appointment

Lectures: MWF, 09:20AM-10:25AM,  Merrill Acad 102

Discussion Sections (all in McHenry 1267):

Sections are mandatory.  In these sections the TA will present more examples to supplement the class lecture, discuss homework, review for exams, answer questions, and return assignments. Students are responsible for knowing all information announced in lecture and discussion sections.

Everyone is required to sign up for one section. A sign-up sheet will be handed out on Sep 29 (the first day of sections.) 
 Section Class Time TA Office Hours (McHenry 1261)
 01B TuTh 11:40AM-01:15PM Connor Jackman
Email: cfjackma at
Tu 10:00-11:30AM
W 11:30-1PM
 01C TuTh 01:30PM-03:05PM Connor Jackman
cfjackma at
Tu 10:00-11:30AM
W 11:30-1PM

Web Page:

Textbook: Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems, 10th edition, by William E. Boyce, Richard C. DiPrima.


First and second order ordinary differential equations, with emphasis on the linear case. Methods of integrating factors, undetermined coefficients, variation of parameters, power series, numerical computation. Students cannot receive credit for this course and Applied Mathematics and Statistics 20.

We will cover the following material from the textbook (tentative plan):
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: First Order Differential Equations
Chapter 3: Second Order Linear Equations
Chapter 5: Series Solutions of Second Order Linear Equations (5.1 and 5.2 only)
Chapter 7: Systems of First Order Linear Equations
Chapter 9: Nonlinear Differential Equations and Stability (9.1 only)

Enrollment Requirements:

Prerequisite(s): course 22 or 23A; course 21 is recommended as preparation.


Course grade will be determined by homework, two midterms, and a cumulative final exam. All exams are closed-book. No make-up exams will be given.

 Homework 20% Due every Friday, 2PM
 Midterm 1 25% Friday, Oct. 28, during lecture
 Midterm 2 25% Friday, Nov. 18, during lecture
 Final Exam 30% Tuesday, Dec. 6,  8-11AM

For general policy statements about grades and academic honesty, see: Academic Integrity.

Calculator Policy:

During exams you will be allowed to use basic or scientific calculators, but not graphing calculators. A scientific calculator is one that can calculate the values of standard functions, but cannot display the graphs of functions, or perform symbolic manipulations. You may also not use your cell phone, or a computer, or a tablet as a calculator.


Homework will be assigned at every lecture and posted on the homework page. They will be due every Friday 2PM and graded. You can turn in your homework either in class or into the homework folder in the math filing cabinet located on the first floor of McHenry across room 1240. Be sure to use the folder marked with your section number. Late homework will not be accepted; however the lowest homework score will be dropped. Homework will be returned in dicussion sections.

Students with Disabilities:

If you qualify for classroom accommodations because of a disability, please submit your Accommodation Authorization Letter from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to me as soon as possible, preferably within the first week of the quarter. Contact DRC by phone at 831-459-2089 or by email at for more information.