Course Syllabus
Special Notes:
- Office Hours:
- Mon: 3:30- 4:30
- Tues: 9:10- 9:40
- Tues: 1:00- 2:00
- Wed: 2:15- 3:15
- Thurs: 08:30- 09:30
- Thurs: 10:30- 11:30
- Fri: 12:15- 12:45
Instr: | Dr. Roger Griffiths |
Office: | Old Main 404 (Tower) |
Email: | griffiths.roger@gmail.com |
Phone: | 824-2123 |
Location: | Zurn 213 |
Class Time: | Mon, Wed, Fri: 1:00 - 2:30 |
Web: | http://math.mercyhurst.edu/~griff/courses/m240/ |
Text: | Fundamentals of Differential Equations (7th Edition), by Nagle, Saff, Snider |
Goals: Our goals involve gaining an introduction to the
mathematical content of ordinary differential equations and their applications. This will include
analytical, qualitative and numerical methods for ordinary differential equations.
Prior
to calculus, we used our understanding of the rules of algebra to develop techniques for solving
algebraic equations. In this class we will use both the rules of algebra and the rules of
calculus (e.g., differentiation shortcuts, integration techniques, etc.) to develop techniques
for solving differential equations. We will continue to improve our ability to write mathematics.
Why? The major application of calculus is posing, solving, and understanding solutions of differential equations. Because many laws of nature are equations involving rates at which quantities change, this idea is a derivative, and equations containing derivatives are differential equations. So, in order to understand the many processes of change in the world, one needs to understand differential equations.
Evaluation: There will be weekly quizzes, occasional
take-home assignments, two exams, and a cumulative final exam. Homework will be assigned but
not collected. We will occasionally discuss the homework in class, but students are expected
to clear up questions using my office hours. Quizzes and tests will be closed-book
and administered in class. In-class quiz problems will be very similar to the
assigned homework problems. The final exam will be cumulative (and worth twice a mid-term
exam).
No makeups will be given!
- Grading Policy:
- 2 exams at 100 points each,
- Quiz average out of 100 points, will drop 1 quiz score,
- Comprehensive Final exam worth 200 points.
- Students are required to take all exams at the scheduled hour as they appear on the syllabus and course schedule.
- A missed exam will result in the final exam being worth 300 points. There will be no late 'make-up' exams, as this is unfair to the rest of the class.
- The quizzes will be based largely on the suggested homework, and should be expected any day.
- Everyone is allowed to miss one quiz without penalty (for any reason). If you end up taking all of the quizzes, you may drop your low quiz score. Athletes or other individuals missing for school activities are to let me know BEFORE missing the quiz (or it lands above).
- Part of any correct write-up includes: connecting your work, proper notation, and an explanation of steps as you see necessary. You should write-up problems as if you were explaining them to some one else.
- Your overall performance in the course is measured by the total number of points you accumulate relative to the maximum 500 points possible. Your letter grade in this course will be based on the distribution below.
- These are the only points possible in this class, there is no extra credit (or 'make up'), your asking for extra credit is a clear indication that you have not read your contract (this syllabus).
Total Class Points | Percent % | Letter Grade | Interpretation |
---|---|---|---|
470 - 500 | 94 to 100 | A | Exceptional and Rare |
450 - 469 | 90 to 93 | B+ | Outstanding |
420 - 449 | 84 to 89 | B | Very Good |
390 - 419 | 78 to 83 | C+ | Good |
350 - 389 | 70 to 77 | C | Satisfactory - Average |
300 - 349 | 60 to 69 | D | Unsatisfactory |
0 - 299 | Below 60 | F | Failure |
Course Policies:
- You are responsible for all that is announced or covered in class even if you are absent.
- You are responsible for all the material in a given section unless told otherwise, use the course schedule and suggested homework as a guide.
- A prerequisite for additional help outside the classroom is regular class attendance.
- Every student is required to establish a class contact, that is, a fellow classmate that you may contact in case you are having a problem with a particular homework exercise at night/weekend or in the event you miss class you can get the class notes from them.
- If you miss class, you are responsible for getting the notes from your 'class contact' (see above).
- Email is great for simple communications, but more complex issues must be handled in person.
- Don't use email as an excuse to avoid personal contact.
- Due to the overwhelming amount of email I receive, any email requests that involve more than a yes or no response may not get addressed, please come see me in that case.
- I expect you to read this syllabus and get clarification of any items you do not understand the first week of class. If you send me an email asking me about something covered in this syllabus, that email will be disregarded.
- Please fasten your seat belts and observe the 'No Smoking' signs when in flight.
Calculators and Computers. You may use a calculator/computer to help learn the material, but not on exams or quizzes. There are several portions of the class that will require the use of a computer, however, all of our examinations are carefully designed to be taken "closed book" without the use of calculators or computers. Examination problems will focus on the basic methods and problem solving techniques which every student of differential equations must know without a calculator or textbook.
- Important Dates to Remember:
- Exam 1: Wednesday, April 3^{rd}
- Exam 2: Friday, April 26^{th}
- Final Examination: Wednesday, May 15^{th}; 10:30 - 12:30
There will be a link to your grades from our class web-page
(these are NOT on blackboard). To check your grade login
with your (Mercyhurst) email address as user name and your student ID as your
password. You may change your password or email address once you have logged
in. Access to your grades will be further explained in class.
Suggested Homework: http://math.mercyhurst.edu/~griff/courses/m240/HW.php I do not collect or grade the homework. You will be held accountable for the mastery of homework problems via the quizzes (which can occur any day). As such, you get no credit for merely attempting the homework, your goal is independent mastery of each type of problem assigned. The quizzes serve as an immediate assessment of the extent to which you mastered a particular assignment. Good quiz results should serve as positive feedback, but poor quiz results mean you must go back and master that material.
- Homework is far and away the single most important part of any mathematics course because this is when most of the learning takes place. Homework problems will be assigned regularly and I expect you to do them. If you are unable to do a problem I expect you to find out how to do it.
- You have at your disposal several means of meeting this expectation.
- You can stick with it until you figure it out yourself.
- You can discuss the problem with a classmate or several classmates (strongly encouraged).
- You can ask me about the problem in class, time permitting.
- You can see me individually during my office hours. I am always happy to talk to you during my office hours or at any other time if not otherwise committed.
- You can discuss the problem with anyone who can and is willing to help you.
- Simply ignoring a problem that you are unable to solve is not acceptable.
- You should continue to work problems of a given type (even beyond the assigned problems) until you see the pattern yourself, without assistance of any type.
- As you 'PRACTICE', keep in mind our stated goal 'to improve our ability to write mathematics, you will want to practice in the manner you will be accessed.
In keeping with college policy, any student with a disability who needs academic accommodations must call Learning Differences Program secretary at 824-3017, to arrange a confidential appointment with the director of the Learning Differences Program during the first week of classes.