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Introduction to Differential Equations

Boston University via edX

This course may be unavailable.


Phenomena as diverse as the motion of the planets, the spread of a disease, and the oscillations of a suspension bridge are governed by differential equations.MATH226x is an introduction to the mathematical theory of ordinary differential equations. This course follows a modern dynamical systems approach to the subject. In particular, equations are analyzed using qualitative, numerical, and if possible, symbolic techniques.

MATH226 is essentially the edX equivalent of MA226, a one-semester course in ordinary differential equations taken by more than 500 students per year at Boston University. It is divided into three parts. MATH226.1 is the first of these three parts.

In MATH226.1, we will discuss biological and physical models that can be expressed as differential equations with one or two dependent variables. We will discuss geometric/qualitative and numerical techniques that apply to all differential equations. When possible, we will study some of the standard symbolic solution techniques such as separation of variables and the use of integrating factors. We will also study the theory of existence and uniqueness of solutions, the phase line and bifurcations for first-order autonomous systems, and the phase plane for two-dimensional autonomous systems. The techniques that we develop will be used to analyze models throughout the course.

Taught by

Paul Blanchard


4.8 rating, based on 13 reviews

Start your review of Introduction to Differential Equations

  • Dmitrijs Kass

    Dmitrijs Kass is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    A great course! One of the best I have ever seen. 1. The course progresses systemically from simple to more complex with comprehensive explanations and examples that illustrate the concept being explained. For me the pace is optimal. 2. Perfect combination...
  • Bart completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Excellent introduction to the subject in three parts. Next to techniques, the course also spends a lot of time on conceptual understanding and how/where differential arise in practice/physical applications.

    The prof has relaxed and easy to follow lecturing style and the course staff in highly involved and helpful in the forum.

    A little calculus (differentiation and some integration) background required, but the course is rather easy going.
  • Maboroshi completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    This is a nice introductory course to differential equations. The lectures and slides are elaborate, and even you have no prior background to what differential equations are, you can get there. Strongly recommend!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This was an amazing course on the topic. Mr. Blanchard did a great job to explain the tough course. Why does edx not offer it again?
  • Alexandros Kazantzidis completed this course.

    Anyone competent in single variable calculus will be able to complete this course.
    The lectures are engaging, the concepts are well explained and the exercises are relevant and interesting.

    5+ Stars.
  • Dale K Garman

    Dale K Garman completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    This is an excellent course on beginning differential equations. Phase diagrams were emphasized. Well supported and error free to my recollection.
  • Wandalen

    Wandalen completed this course.

    Best course I have ever taken. The professor feels a student and give him exactly what he need. Worth taking.
  • Marat Minshin

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