Math331-Ordinary Differential Equation

Sections and instructors

Course Chair:Hongkun Zhang, This page will be updated periodically if rooms change. Definitive information can be found via SPIRE or from the department's course webpage.

Class Number Section Instructor Location Meeting Time
 30261 331.1  Garret Cahill    MWF 11:15 AM-12:05AM
 30262 331.2  Siddhant Govardhan Agrawal    TuTh 1:00 PM-2:15PM
 30263 331.3  Garret Cahill


 MWF   12:20 PM -1:10PM
 30325 331.4  Weimin Chen    MWF   1:25PM-2:15PM
 30364 331.5  Hongkun Zhang    TuTh 11:30AM-12:45PM
 30377 331.6   Not run    
 30387 331.7  Hongkun Zhang    TuTh 10:00 AM-11:15AM



Teaching Assistants


The course TA's will hold office hours that are open to students from all sections of math 331 each week throughout the semester. Office hours will be held in LGRT?, not in the TAs' regular office. The TA's list and office hours  post here,

Monday: Richard Buckman 4-5pm, Ling-Chen Bu 5-6pm

Tuesday: Richard Buckman  4-6pm

Wednesday:Yaping Yuan 4-6pm

Thursday: Ling-Chen Bu 4-6pm

TAs will run the office hours start from second week of the semester.


Introduction to ordinary differential equations.First and second order linear differential equations, systems of linear differential equations, Laplace transform, numerical methods, applications. If you already passed math131, math132, then you are eligible to register math331. 


Elementary Differential Equations, 11th Edition (2017) by William E. Boyce, Richard C. DiPrima, Douglas B. Meade



There is no required calculator for the course, although many students find them helpful for homework. You will NOT be allowed to use a calculator on exams , you must show all work other than arithmetic calculations. I recommend you to buy TI-89 calculator if you don't have one.


The grading of the course will be as follows. There will be a final exam worth 30%, Mid-term during the semester worth 30%, Homework worth 30%, written homework and Pop quizzes worth 10% All scores will be scaled to a 0-100 scale before averaging.

Final Exam

The final will be cumulative, with some emphasis placed on topics covered after the first exam. The date and time of the final exam will be scheduled by the university. The final will only be given at that time, and not at any other time for any reason. In particular, adjust your travel plans accordingly; planning to leave for vacation before the final exam is a bad idea.

Exam policies: 

For the written homework, I will asssign part of following sets as the homework later.

Schedule of lectures

 The following is meant to give a general idea of which sections are covered in which weeks. Coverage may be different depending on such factors as MWF vs. TuTh schedule, different paces of individual instructors, etc. However, it is expected that all these sections will be covered.

Week Lecture Event
9/3   Introduce course policy, 1.1, 1.2 The first class starts on Tuesday 9/3

1.3 Introduction; 2.1 Linear ODEs
2.2 Separable ODEs



 2.3 Modelling with ODEs 
 2.5 Autonomous equations
Monday 9/16 last day to add/drop
9/23  2.4, 2.7, and 2.8 Theory and Euler methods
 2.6 Exact equations
9/30  3.1 2nd order equations with constant coefficients 
 3.2 Wronskian
10/7  3.3 Complex roots 
 3.4 Repeated roots
10/14  3.5 Nonhomogeneous ODEs

Midterm is on Thursday 10/17, 7-9pm, Midterm covers 1.1-3.2

Monday is holiday, Tuesday is Monday schedule.

Make-up Exam is on Friday 10/18,7-9pm

 3.7 Mechanical and Electrical oscillations

3.8 Forced oscillations

6.1 Laplace transform

6.2 Initial value problems 

Tuesday 10/29 is last day drop with "W"
11/4 6.3 Step functions

6.4 Discontinuous forcing

11/11 6.5 Impulse functions

7.1 Introduction to systems

Monday is Holiday; Wednesday=Monday

7.2--7.3 Matrices
7.4 Theory


7.5 Real eigenvalues 
7.6 Complex eigenvalues



Wendnesday 12/11 is last day of classes

Final Exam

Final exam 12/12
12/16  Grades Final Grade is due by 12/16


 Written homework  

Four written homework will be given occasionally through the term. Questions in written homework are based on weekly homework assignments. Normally There is no make-up for written homework.

Math331 Handwritten Homework

 1. Midterm practice questions                              

 2. Step and Impulse Functions Homework

 3. Systems Homework

 4. Final practice questions


The best way to get help is to visit TA'S office hours: 4-6pm Monday to Thursday.

Drops, Withdrawals, and Incompletes

The last day to drop with no record, or to submit a Pass/Fail option, is Monday, September 16th. If you intend to drop, please do so as soon as possible; others may be waiting to enroll in your section. The last day to drop with a W is the mid-semester date, Tuesday, Octorber 29.

An Incomplete is possible only if: (1) you had a compelling personal reason, e.g., serious illness; (2) your work has clearly been passing; and (3) there's a good chance you'll complete the course with a passing grade within the allotted time. Thus, failing work is no reason in itself for an Incomplete.