Math 246: Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers

Spring 2015, Sections 02XX, Professor Lipsman

Required Texts

  1. [NODE] Class Notes for MATH 246, Ordinary Differential Equations, Spring 2015 edition, D. Levermore et al. (NODE is an acronym for New Ordinary Differential Equations.)
  2. [HOLR] Differential Equations with MATLAB, Third Edition, B. Hunt, R. Lipsman, J. Osborn and J. Rosenberg, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2012.
The link above for NODE takes you to the FREE online class notes for this course. This is the main textbook for the course. The supplementary HOLR book may be purchased in the bookstore or online.

Recommended Text


Math 141 or equivalent. It will be ASSUMED that the student is very familiar with the contents of Chapters 1-10 in Calculus with Analytic Geometry, 6th ed., by R. Ellis and D. Gulick! Those chapters contain the material covered in Math 140-141. While a course in Linear Algebra, e.g., MATH 240, is not, strictly speaking, a prerequisite, and while the limited amount of linear algebra needed for this course will be discussed during the semester, the student would benefit from having taken such a course, or say a course in ENGR or PHYS that uses some linear algebra.

Homework Assignments

There are two kinds of homework problems. MATLAB-based problems are found in the HOLR book. The specific problems from that book that you are required to solve and submit are: These problems must be solved using the MATLAB computer package. More information on the HOLR/MATLAB homework may be found in another section of this web page. We note only here that these will be integrated documents combining input, output, graphics, and textual commentary.

The other type of problems are those found in the Class Notes. These may be solved either with paper and pencil or with MATLAB, at your discretion. Only the MATLAB homework will be collected and graded! No specific problems from the Notes are assigned. You are free to do as many or few as you wish. However, it is recommended that you work at least 3-4 problems from each of the sections in the problem sets. Solutions are provided to every problem. Naturally, you are encouraged to attempt to work a problem before consulting the solution. Your GA will also entertain questions about problems from the Notes in recitation class.
Homework page, with due dates.

Exam Schedule

There will be three hourly exams and a final exam. The schedule is as follows:

First Exam:
Thursday, February 26. Study Outline for Exam 1. Exam Data
Second Exam:
Thursday, April 2. Study Outline for Exam 2 (text version);Study Outline for Exam 2 (pdf version).Exam Data
Third Exam:
Tuesday, April 28
Final Exam:
Thursday, May 14, 2014, 1:30-3:30PM.

Quiz Schedule

There will be 11 weekly 10-15 minute quizzes; most of them will be held in class, but a few will be 'take-home.' The highest 10 scores will count toward your quiz grade. The quizzes will occur every week except for the first week and each week in which there is an exam. An in-class quiz may occur on a Tuesday or a Thursday; which will be announced approximately a week in advance. The weekly in-class quizzes will be admininstered near the END of the period at 10:30 AM -- SHARP -- and will conclude at the end of the period at 10:45, without exception.

Here is Quiz 4. Print it, solve the problems on the printed page(s) and turn in to your GA on Monday, March 2, 2015.

Grading Policy

The maximum possible number of points you can score in this course is 750. Your final grade will depend upon the total points you score on the MATLAB homework, the quizzes, three hourly exams, and the final exam, distributed as follows:

CategoryTotal Points
Homework (HOLR)150
Three Hourly Exams300
Final Exam200

NOTE: In principle, your grade in the course will be: A if your total points is at least 675; B if the total is between 600 and 675;...; F if less than 450. However, depending on overall performance on the final exam and perhaps other factors, there may be a curve, which could adjust the boundaries up or down accordingly.

There will be no make-up exams for any of the three in-class exams. If you miss ONE in-class exam (due to an excused absence) and if you earn a C- or better on all the other exams (including the final), then your score for that exam will be one half of your final exam score. In all other cases if you miss one or more in-class exams, then your score for each missed exam will be zero.

A complete list of homework assignments and due dates is available. Late homework will not be accepted.

Class Schedule

The class lecture meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30AM -- 10:45AM in room 0126 of the Armory. Recitation sections meet on Monday mornings for 50 minutes at either 8, 9, 10 or 11 AM, depending on your section number. The precise information is as follows:
Section 0211: 8:00am - 8:50am in MTH 0403 with James Greene; email Mr. Greene
Section 0221: 9:00am - 9:50am in MTH 0403 with James Greene
Section 0231: 10:00am - 10:50am in MTH 0403 with James Greene
Section 0241: 11:00am - 11:50am in MTH 0403 with James Greene
Section 0212: 8:00am - 8:50am in MTH 0201 with Matthew Becker; email Mr. Becker
Section 0222: 9:00am - 9:50am in MTH 0201 with Matthew Becker
Section 0232: 10:00am - 10:50am in MTH 0102 with Matthew Becker
Section 0242: 11:00am - 11:50am in MTH 0102 with Matthew Becker
Section 0213: 8:00am - 8:50am in MTH 1313 with Terence Long; email Mr. Long
Section 0223: 9:00am - 9:50am in MTH 1313 with Terence Long

Office Hours

Professor Lipsman will be available each Tuesday and Thursday at 11AM in his office in the Math Building, room 4301. (phone: 301-405-7061)
Mr. Becker is available Tuesdays, 2-3, Wednesdays, 10-11 and Thursdays, 1-2 in Room 4315.
Mr. Greene is available Mondays, 3-4 and Thursdays, 4-5 in Room 4116.
Mr. Long is available Mondays and Fridays, 10-11 in Room 0210.


Departmental course tutoring is available according to the schedule found here.
In addition, the Department also offers Matlab tutoring (for all the sophomore courses). The schedule may be found at this site.
Finally, the campus Office of Undergraduate Programs offers tutoring in Math 246 through the Academic Achievement Programs. I am told that this tutoring is available according to the following schedule (I am unsure how reliable this information is.): M/W 2-4pm MTH 0201; Tu 5-6pm EGR 0108; Fri 11-1pm ITV 1100.

Final Exam and Study Review Session Information

The date and time of the Final Exam is Thursday, May 14, 2015, 1:30-3:30PM. The location will be announced in due course. There will be a Study Review Session on Exam Study Day (Wednesday, May 13, 2015). In fact, there will be two sessions: 11:00AM - 1:00PM and 1:00PM - 3:00PM. Both will take place in ARM0126 (same classroom in which lecture is held). A set of sample final exam problems will be distributed a few days before the session and their solutions will be worked out during the session. The same material will be considered in both sessions. Profs Lipsman and Balan will conduct the first session; Profs Wilson and Wyss-Gallifent will conduct the second. You are certainly welcome at my session, but you may attend either at your convenience.

Departmental Resources

The Mathematics Department maintains various resources that you might find helpful. Consult its Undergraduate Page; especially click on the Resources link. On that page you will find a link to an Archive of Past Math Exams.

Disclaimer: This page is updated once or twice per week during the semester. It is entirely possible that events have superseded the information contained herein. If so, announcements will be made in class. In urgent situations, e.g., snow cancellations, email will be sent. There will also be periodic announcements made through Canvas (ELMs). In any case, you may send me email inquiries.

Ron Lipsman
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Office: Mathematics Building, Room 4301
Phone: (301) 405-7061