Average Rating (from 2 Students)
Course Difficulty
Easy 0%
Medium 100%
Hard 0%
Top Course Tags
Great Intro to the Subject
Math-heavy
Meetings Outside of Class
Not too easy. Not too difficult.
Course Overview:
I unfortunately did not have as robust of a mathematics background as the other students in the course but that did not hinder my ability in the subject. The TA was extremely helpful and open to questions one-on-one as long as I had specific questions to ask (typically from optional online practice problems). In addition, the professor was highly receptive to recommendations and encouraged in-class participation, not necessarily by answering questions but by telling jokes or funny stories.
Course highlights:
Traditionally, I struggle in morning math courses but this professor was always exciting and invigorating that I excelled in this 8:30am course. Periodically, he would stop his lecture to tell a joke or a funny story which always lightened the mood.
Hours per week:
3-5 hours
Advice for students:
As a professor, he was much better one-on-one than in lecture but, to do well, it is imperative to attend the recitations with the Graduate student TA. For exams, be sure to do practice problems. While he allows a crib sheet for exams, doing Professor Lvov's practice problem (on his website) was more useful than any one formula on the crib sheet. For exams, especially the final, he promotes individual thinking by teaching the methodologies behind solving problems and creating original problems on the exam. For these kinds of questions, he also allows for lots of extra credit so its highly beneficial to have something written for every question even if you doubt it is correct.
Not too easy. Not too difficult.
Course Overview:
I would certainly recommend this course. Differential equations are a key part of the mathematical language of science; and science, as Richard Dawkins notes, is the poetry of reality. Differential equations are a key part of our understanding of the natural world. This course will teach you a number of crucial skills for solving and working with them. These include classification, analytic techniques such as separation of variables, and phase plane analysis, which will allow you to create a picture of the behavior of the solution without actually solving it.
Course highlights:
Perhaps the most interesting part of the course was phase plane analysis. This technique allows you to get a sense of the system's behavior without actually solving it, by examining the system in key locations and then sketching its graph. This area is fascinating because it turns out that many of the most interesting equations under study in modern science are either difficult or impossible to actually solve using analytic methods. This means you can't actually take the equation and extract a function which tells you whatv alue the solution has at any point. However, with this powerful technique, you can see what the solution looks like with your own eyes! In my opinion, the course is well worth taking for this reason alone.
Hours per week:
0-2 hours
Advice for students:
Be sure not to leave the homework to the last minute, and find a group to work with to check your answers. Some problems require extensive use of algebra and calculus, and it is very easy to make a tiny mistake that will propagate to your final answer. Having a partner will allow you to check each other's work and alert you of any possible mistakes. As a math major I can attest that in the same way you sometimes skip over grammar mistakes when proofreading your own paper, you can easily skip over simple mathematical errors in your own work.