Ordinary Differential Equations
Fall 2008
MATH 365.01 (3 credits), M_W_F, 2:00PM-2:50PM, Wickersham 218


A grade of C- or better in MATH 311 (Calculus III) is the prerequisite for this course.1


Dr. Buchanan
Office: Wickersham 216-1, Phone: 872-3659, FAX: 871-2320
Office Hours: 3:00PM-4:00PM (MTu_ThF) or by appointment
Email: Robert.Buchanan@millersville.edu
Course URL: http://banach.millersville.edu/~bob/math365


Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems, 8th edition, William E. Boyce and Richard C. DiPrima, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 2005, ISBN: 978-0-471-43338-5


MATH 365 provides an introduction to ordinary differential equations and their applications. Upon completion of this course the student will:

Course Contents:
Topics covered in this course may include the following.

If time permits other topics may be covered as well.


Students are expected to attend all class meetings. If you know beforehand that you will be absent from class on the day an assignment is due, you must complete and hand in the assignment prior to the absence. If you are unexpectedly absent the day that an assignment is due you must hand in the assignment at the beginning of the class hour on the first day that you return to class. If you know you will be absent on the day of a test, you must notify me before the time the test is scheduled in order to schedule a make-up test. Students who miss a test should provide a valid excuse, otherwise you will not be allowed to make up the test. No final exam exemptions.


Students are expected to do their homework and participate in class. Students should expect to spend a minimum of three hours outside of class on homework and review for every hour spent in class. Homework exercises help students review and reinforce concepts covered in class. The textbook exercises are arranged in generally increasing level of difficulty. Working only the low-numbered exercises will not prepare a student sufficiently for the test and final examination exercises. All assigned homework exercises must be worked until successful completion. Throughout the semester homework problems will be assigned for collection and grading. Students should submit all homework by the date due. Late homework will not be accepted without valid excuse. Discussion between students on homework assignments is encouraged, but homework submitted for grading should be written up separately.


There will be three 50-minute in-class tests and a final examination. The tests are tentatively scheduled for

The comprehensive final examination is scheduled for Thursday, December 11, 2008 from 10:15AM-12:15PM. I will not ``curve'' test or exam grades.


Course grade will be calculated as follows.

Tests 55%
Homework 20%
Exam 25%

Tests and the final examination will be graded individually on a 100-point scale. Homework assignments will carry a variable number of points but will be weighted equally in the determination of the homework grade. I keep a record of students' test, homework, and exam scores. Students should also keep a record of graded assignments, tests, and other materials. As an example of the calculation of the numerical course grade, suppose a student's three test grades were 87, 78, and 65 (out of a maximum of 100 points on each test), the student's final examination grade was 71 (again, out of a maximum of 100), and five homework assignments were collected yielding grades of $35/40$, $27/50$, $30/50$, $25/40$, and $25/35$. This student's test average is $76.\overline{6}$. The homework grade is calculated as

20 \cdot \frac{\frac{35}{40} + \frac{27}{50} + \frac{30}{50} +
\frac{25}{40} + \frac{25}{35}}{5} \approx 13.42 .

The student's numerical course grade is then

(76.\overline{6})(0.55) + 13.42 + (71)(0.25) = 73.33 .

For the purposes of determining the final grade, any fraction is rounded up to the nearest whole number.

The course letter grade will be assigned as follows. I will not ``curve'' course grades.

90-92 A$-$ 93-100 A    
80-82 B$-$ 83-86 B 87-89 B$+$
70-72 C$-$ 73-76 C 77-79 C$+$
60-62 D$-$ 63-66 D 67-69 D$+$
    0-59 F    

Course Repeat Policy

An undergraduate student may not take an undergraduate course of record more than three times. A course of record is defined as a course in which a student receives a grade of A, B, C, D, (including $+$ and $-$) F, U, Z or W. The academic department offering a course may drop a student from a course if the student attempts to take a course more than three times.2

Inclement Weather Policy:

If we should miss a class day due to a school closing because of weather, any activities planned for that missed day will take place the next time the class meets. For example, if a test is scheduled for a day that class is canceled on account of snow, the test will be given the next time the class meets.

Final Word:

Mathematics is not a spectator sport. What you learn from this course and your final grade depend mainly on the amount of work you put forth. Daily contact with the material through homework assignments and review of notes taken during lectures is extremely important. Organizing and conducting regular study sessions with other students in this class will help you to understand the material better.

No one can guarantee you success in this course. Your responsibilities and the instructor's expectation are outlined above. There will be no second chances, ``do-overs'', or extra credit assignments.

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