San Francisco State University
Math 376
Fall, 2014
Ordinary Differential Equation

Instructor: Dr. Shidong Li
Office: TH 929,    Phone: x81481,  email:
Office Hours:  Tu 1:0o - 2:00, or by appointment.
Prerequisite:  C or better in Math 227, and permission by the instructor.

Text: Elementary Differential Equations, by
Boyce/DiPrima, 10th edition.

Topics to be covered:
Chapter 1:  Introduction
Chapter 2:  First Order differential equations
Chapter 3:  Second order differential equations
Chapter 4:  Sections 4.1 and 4.2: generalization to higher order ODEs.
Chapter 7:  System of first order linear equations (7.1 - 7.7)
Chapter 9:  Nonlinear Differential Equations and stability (9.1 - 9.3)
Chapter 8:  Numerical Solutions (selected sections/topics)

Some computer lab sessions during the semester will be scheduled.  Computer demos as well as lab sessions are designed to facilitate the understanding of certain physical phenomenon modeled by differential equations. The emphasis (in using computers) will be on the analysis and understanding of the problems and solutions of differential equations.  A significant component shall also be devoted to the understanding of phenomenon of numerical instabilities of certain differential equations, in which numerical solution can often lead to fatal errors.

Grading Percentage: 
Homework 15%
Weekly quizzes 25%
Mid-term (tentatively 10/16 (Thursday)) 30%
Final Exam: 12/18, Thursday, 1:30 - 4:00   30%

Pay attention to Fall's calendar and deadlines

Exam/Quiz policy: Two lowest quiz grades will be dropped from the course grade.  No make-up quiz will be given.  Make-up exams may be allowed should you have verifiable and compelling reason.  In such cases, students are expected to notify the instructor prior to the exam.

Homework are assigned on each lecture.  Students are expected to spend 2-3 hours on each assignment. Working in groups on homeworks to help each other) are encouraged.