Math 23

Differential Equations

General Information



Textbook: “Elementary differential equations and boundary value problems” 10-th edition , by W. Boyce and R. DiPrima  available at Wheelock Books



ORC Course description: This course is a survey of important types of differential equations, both linear and nonlinear. Topics include the study of systems of ordinary differential equations using eigenvectors and eigenvalues, numerical solutions of first and second order equations and of systems, and the solution of elementary partial differential equations using Fourier series.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 13.




Scheduled Lectures and Instructors:


Vladimir Chernov

John Bourke

Classes: MWF 1:45-2:50 AM

(x-hour) Th 1-1:50 PM

Classes: MWF 12:30-1:35 PM

(x-hour) Tu 1-1:50 PM

Class location: Kemeny 007

Class location: Kemeny 007

Tentative Office hours: Monday 3-4:30 PM,

Tuesday 2-3:30 PM, Friday 3-4:30 PM

and by appointment

Tentative Office hours: Monday 3-4 PM,

Tuesday 1:30-2:30 PM, Wednesday 2:30-3:30 PM

and by appointment

Office: 304 Kemeny Hall

Phone number 646 2421,

blitz (preferred)

Office: 310 Kemeny Hall

Phone number 646 9824

blitz (preferred)

Information for the section taught by Chernov



Information for the section taught by Bourke






 Course Lecture Plan



Course Grade will be based upon on the scores for Homework, Midterm Exams, and the Final Exam using your higher score from these two schemes:



Grading scheme one

Grading scheme two

 Written Homework



Two Midterm Exams

25% each (50% total)

20% each (40% total)

Final Exam

35 %





Exams: There will be two in-class "midterm examinations" and an in-class final examination. These will not be during the regular class times.


Do not make plans to leave Hanover before the end of the final exam week. The exams will not be given earlier to accommodate your travel plans. The exams are scheduled as follows:



1st  Midterm Exam

6-8 PM   Thursday January 29 in Silsby 028

2nd Midterm Exam 

6-8 PM Thursday February 19 in Silsby 028

Final Exam

3-6 PM Monday March 16 in Wilder 111


1st Midterm: The first exam will cover sections 1.1--1.3, 2.1--2.6 and 3.1--3.4. Here is a practice exam and solutions. Use these for practice problems only; our exam is likely to differ in content and style.


Solutions to the first exam are available here


2nd Midterm: The second exam will cover sections 3.5--3.8, 4.1--4.3 and 7.1--7.8, plus earlier material as needed. Here is a practice exam and solutions, and a practice final (for which no solutions are available). These come from a course that covered the material in a different order, so pick out the appropriate problems. Use these for practice problems only; our exam is likely to differ in content and style.


Solutions to the second exam are available here


Final: The final exam will be in Wilder 111 on Monday, March 16, 3--6pm. It will consist of 12 questions, of which approximately two-thirds will be on chapters 5 and 10, which were not covered on the midterms, and approximately one-third on older material. See the 2nd midterm above for practice questions on the recent material.


Written Homework: will be assigned after each lecture. It generally will be due on Wednesday of the week following the week when it was assigned. The graders will be instructed to follow the same rules when grading the homework for the two sections.


The Written homework and the due dates for Chernov’s section can be found here;


The Written homework and the due dates for Bourke’s section can be found here;


Late homework will not be accepted. If you feel there is a very legitimate reason for your homework to be late you should discuss this with the Instructor of your section in advance. Unexcused and missing papers count zero.

Tutorials for the class are 7-9 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays in Kemeny 105. They will be run by the Graduate Student Teaching Assistant Angelica Babei. Please note that the students in the previous years found these tutorials to be very helpful!


Honors Principle:

On Exams: No help given or received.

On Homework: Collaboration on homework is allowed and encouraged but no copying!

 In general: when in doubt ask before doing.


Disabilities:  Students with learning, physical, or psychiatric disabilities enrolled in this course that may need disability-related classroom accommodations are encouraged to make an office appointment to see your instructor before the end of the second week of the term. All discussions will remain confidential, although the Student Accessibility Services office may be consulted to discuss appropriate implementation of any accommodation requested. At such a meeting please provide your instructor with a copy of a disability registration form, which lists the accommodations recommended for the student by Student Acessibility Services within the Academic Skills Center. The person you might want to contact at the Academic Skills center is Ward Newmeyer, Interim Director of Student Accessibility Services 301 Collis Center - (603) 646-9900.

Student Religious Observances:  Some students may wish to take part in religious observances that fall during this academic term.  Should you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation in the course, please come speak with your instructor before the end of the second week of the term to discuss appropriate accommodations.