Math 442 Partial Differential Equations, Spring 2008

Homework Due weekly by 5pm, to my office 20%
Test 1 Information and Practice Test 1 and Solutions Monday 18 February, in class 15%
Test 2 Information and Practice Test 2 and Solutions Wednesday 2 April, take home 20%
Final Exam Information, and Practice Exam
Wednesday 7 May, 1:30-4:30pm 45%

The tests and exam are open book (you may bring any written materials), but you may not use any electronic device.

Make up tests will be given only if you present written evidence, as soon as possible, that you did (or will have to) miss the test or exam for a legitimate reason, e.g. illness or family emergency. Travel and leisure plans are never a legitimate reason. Late homework accepted only if you get an extension from me.

There is no formula fixed in advance for turning your numerical score into a letter grade. But after each test I will indicate approximate grade ranges, so that you have some idea of how you are doing.

Software. We will occasionally use the free software package Iode, which runs under Matlab. Engineering students can install Iode on their EWS account at If you are not an engineering student then I will create an account for you on the Mathematics network, in the first few weeks of the semester.

Class Preparation. One goal of the course is to help you learn mathematics more independently. I will assign Class Preparation work to be done ahead of each class, and then rather than having traditional lectures, we will spend much class time discussing what you have read, figuring out the tricky parts, and working on problems to reinforce your learning. (Note that I will regularly lecture on the more complicated calculations and theorems.) It is IMPORTANT that you do the Class Preparation before every class, and that you come to every class.
I will assume you arrive at each class prepared to contribute to the discussion. That doesn't mean you will understand everything in the reading! When you get stuck or can't understand something, just write your questions in the margin of the text, and ask them during class. Please tell me when you don't understand something - complete honesty is the best policy for learning mathematics.
Finally, go over your HW solutions the day you get them back, debriefing on both your successes and your mistakes. Be happy with the successes, and learn from the mistakes.