Math 242 (Elementary Differential Equations) Section 001
Spring, 2020

Lectures in LeConte 115
MW 2:20 -- 3:35 PM

Professor: Peter J. Nyikos

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, I will have very limited access to my office, the only place from which I can edit my webpages. So for the foreseeable future, my communications will be by way of Blackboard. This includes virtual classes and virtual office hours.

Prof. Nyikos's Office: LeConte 406.     Phone: 7-5134

Email: nyikos @

Office Hours: TR 2:00 - 3:30. or by appointment (or any time I am in). Exceptions will be announced as far in advance as possible, with a note on my office door if necessary.

You can e-mail me your 3rd quiz for re-scoring if you were marked wrong for the last problem.

I will be communicating mostly on blackboard. This webpage is for information of a more permanent sort.

The textbook for this course is Differential Equations, Computing and Modeling, by C. Henry Edwards and David E. Penney, 5th edition, Pearson Education, Inc., 2015.

The course covers the following chapters and sections:
Chapter 1, with emphasis on Sections 1.4, 1.5, and parts of 1.6
Sections 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and parts of 2.5
Sections 3.1 through 3.7
Sections 7.1 through 7.5
Sections 4.1 and as much of 4.2 as time permits

Only simple calculators (in other words, those that may be used in taking SAT tests) are needed for this course, and they will be needed only a small fraction of the time, outside of class. Neither the quizzes, nor the hour tests, nor the final exam will require their use, although they may save some time on a few problems. Programmable calculators are not permitted for quizzes, hour tests, or the final exam.

The course grade will be based on quizzes, homework, 3 one-hour tests, a final exam, and attendance. Details on this and on various policies can be found here.

I might as well include the following information already:
The final exam in this course is on Monday, May 4, 12:30 - 3pm.
Only major, documented excuses for missing the final exam will be accepted. With so many students in the class, the University cannot accommodate any but the most compelling reasons. If you know in advance that you will miss it, let me know as soon as possible, in writing, giving details.

The first class-long test was on Wednesday, February 19. It covered what the class covered in Sections 1.1 through 1.6. This means skipping Section 1.3 and only covering exact equations in Section 1.6.

The first quiz was on Monday, January 27, and covered Sections 1 and 2.
The second quiz was on Monday, Feb. 3 and covered Section 1.5.
The third quiz was on Monday, Feb. 10 and covered Section 1.4.
The fourth quiz was on Monday, Feb. 24 and covered the partial fraction problems of Section 2.1
The fifth quiz will be on Wednesday, March 4 and will cover Sections 3.1 and 3.3.

Learning Outcomes: Students will master concepts and solve problems based upon the topics covered in the course, including general and particular solutions to ordinary differential equations of the following types: separable, exact, nonlinear homogeneous, first- and higher order linear equations (both homogeneous and inhomogeneous, especially those with constant coefficients), systems of two differential equations.

They will develop skill at using solution methods such as: integrating factors, substitution, variation of parameters, undetermined coefficients, Laplace transforms. They will employ approximation methods such as Euler or Runge-Kutta, and use differential equations in application to population biology, cooling, mechanical vibrations and/or electrical circuits.

Practice problems, not to be handed in:

Section 1.1: 3, 7, 11, 15, 21, 23, 33, 35.
Section 1.2: 3, 5, 13, 15, 17.
Section 1.3 was skipped temporarily
Section 1.4: 3, 4, 6, 17, 34, 35, and also 49. [These were added later. Problem 54, originally listed here, is for enrichment. You will not be tested on anything similar.]
Section 1.5: 4, 9, 14, 16, 17, 33.
Section 1.6: finish 16 and 17, finish 33, and do 31, 37, 43, 45, 47, 48.

Section 3.1: 1, finish 2, do 9, 11, 23, 24, 33, 36, 37
Section 3.3: 8. 9