Course Title

Ordinary Differential Equation

Course Number


Instructor, Office, Email

Instructor: Jinguo Lian

Office: LGRT(1028)


Class Schedule and Location

Section 7 (MWF 10:10 - 11:00am); Section 8 (MWF 1:25-2:15pm), Location: Zoom meeting

Office hours

MWF: 2:30-3:30.

Teaching Assistants

The Teaching Assistants for this course will hold open recitation hours for all sections:


Remote learning

synchronous - optional


Math 132

Required materials

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

WileyPlus: An electronic copy of the textbook is integrated in the homework system WileyPlus that we will use for the class. When setting-up your account with Wiley plus there will be an option to purchase a hard copy of the book for a (small) extra-fee.

Gradescope: We will use Gradescope to grade the written homeworks and the final exam.


Introduction to ordinary differential equations. First and second order linear differential equations, systems of linear differential equations, Laplace transform, numerical methods, applications.

Learning Objectives

To provide students with an introduction to the theory of ordinary differential equations through applications, methods of solution, and numerical approximations. Students will be able to effectively write mathematical solutions in a clear and concise manner. This may be assessed through online homework, written homework and a final exam.

Course Requirements

Attend classes regularly and complete assigned in-class team excersies.

Complete WileyPlus online homeworks, submit written homeworks to Gradescope on time.

Attend the final review classes, take the final exam through Gradescope.

Weekly Schedule

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

Course policies, 1.1 Math Modeling 1.2 Solutions of Diff Eq

The first class starts on Monday 2/1
2/8 1.3 Introduction, 2.1 Linear ODEs 2.2 Separable ODEs 2/12 Friday: last day to add/drop
2/15 2.3 Modelling with ODEs 
2.5 Autonomous equations

Monday 2/15 president day, classes will be held

Written HW #1 Due Sunday, 2/21 at 9pm

2/22 2.4, 2.7, and 2.8 Theory and Euler methods
2.6 Exact equations
2/14 Wednesday, Wellbeing observed-No classes
3/1 3.1 2nd order eq. with constant coefficients 3.2 Wronskian

3/1, Monday, Wednesday class schedule followed

Written HW #2 Due Sunday, 3/7 at 9pm

3/8 3.3 Complex roots 
3.4 Repeated roots
3/15 3.5 Nonhomogeneous ODEs Written HW #3 Due Sunday, 3/21 at 9pm

3.7 Mechanical and Electrical oscillations, 3.8 Forced oscillations 6.1 Laplace transform


6.2 Initial value problems 6.3 Step functions

3/29 Monday, last day to drop with W

Written HW #4 Due Sunday, 4/4 at 9pm


6.4 Discontinuous forcing 6.5 Impulse functions


7.1 Introduction to systems 7.2–7.3 Matrices

4/14 Wednesday, Wellbeing observed-No classes

Written HW #5 Due Sunday, 4/18 at 9pm


7.4 Theory of Systems of ODE 7.5 Linear systems w/ Real eigenvalues

4/19 Monday is patriot's day, classes will be held

4/20 Tuesday is Monday schedule


7.6 Linear systems w/ Complex eigenvalues Review

Written HW #6 Due Sunday, 5/2 at 9pm


5/4 Tuesday, last day of classes


Final period

Final Exam

Final grades due by midnight of 5/17

Course information and communication

This is a Moodle course where you may find Zoom meeting link, printable syllabus, PDF notes, lecture videos and other related course materials. If you have any questions, you may chat to me via Zoom chat, or drop by my office hours after the class, or send me an email anytime.

Weights of Individual Assignments toward final grade

WileyPlus Homework: 30%

Written Homework: 40%

Final Exam: 30%


There is no required calculator for the course, although many students find them helpful. 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 do not have one.

Grading Scale

The grading of the course will be as follows. There will be a final exam worth 30%, online Homework worth 30%,written homework worth 40%. All scores will be scaled to a 0-100 scale before averaging.

A = 90 - 100%

A- = 87 - 89.99%

B+ = 83 - 86.99%

B = 79 - 82.99%

B- = 75 -78.99%

C+ = 71 -74.99%

C = 67 - 70.99%

C- = 63 - 66.99%

D+ = 59 - 62.99%

D = 55 - 58.99%

F = 0 - 54.99%

Final Exam

The final will be cumulative. The date and time of the final exam will be scheduled by the university. The final exam 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.

Attendance and other class policies

Attendance: international students in different time zones, can not attend the regular classes, can long on Moodle account to watch the lecture videos to learn course materials, complete the course asignments on time. Other students should attend the class regularly and complete the course assignments on time.

Makeup Exam: international students in different time zones may request the final mekeup exam, other final exam request should satisfy the Makeup exam policy.

Special Accommodation: The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students. If you have a documented physical, psychological, or learning disability on file with Disability Services (DS), you may be eligible for reasonable academic accommodations to help you succeed in this course. If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify me within the first two weeks of the semester so that we may make appropriate arrangements.

Final Exam Policy: please log on my zoom ID 15 minutes early. You will not be admitted to the exam more than 30 minutes late. Do not bring any cheat sheets, formula sheet and class notes to the final exam. Bring your student ID to the exam. No Calculators allowed during the exam.

Homework Extension: There is no extension for WileyPlus homeworks and written homeworks.

Electronic submission

It is students' responsibility to make sure any electronic submission go through successfully (uploaded a PDF solution to Gradescope, no blurry images, and the questions and answers match) and check with the instructor or TA that the submission is successful. A practice sessions will be given on electronic submission during the first week of the semester.

Contingency plan

Before the semester, please test the techonolgy that we use. If you have a difficty to access the Moodle or Zoom, please contact UMass OIT support If you have a difficty to access the Gradescope, please contact Gradscope help at If you have a difficty to access WileyPlus, please contact WileyPlus support at


The best way to get help is to visit TA'S office hours: 4-6pm Monday to Thursday or drop by my office hours on MWF 2:30-3:30pm.

Drops, Withdrawals, and Incompletes

The last day to drop with no record, or to submit a Pass/Fail option, is Friday, Feb 12th. 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 Monday, Mar 29th.

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.

Academic Honesty Statement

Since the integrity of the academic enterprise of any institution of higher education requires honesty in scholarship and research, academic honesty is required of all students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Academic dishonesty is prohibited in all programs of the University. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, and facilitating dishonesty. Appropriate sanctions may be imposed on any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty. Instructors should take reasonable steps to address academic misconduct. Any person who has reason to believe that a student has committed academic dishonesty should bring such information to the attention of the appropriate course instructor as soon as possible. Instances of academic dishonesty not related to a specific course should be brought to the attention of the appropriate department Head or Chair. Since students are expected to be familiar with this policy and the commonly accepted standards of academic integrity, ignorance of such standards is not normally sufficient evidence of lack of intent (