Practical issues

Assignments will be published on the web site each Friday. They are not due and they will not be graded. Answers will be published a week later to help you do the problems on your own.

Cheating will not be tolerated in this class. By "cheating" I mean submitting work that is not your own. This includes copying from another student or from another source, or having another person write your tests. When a student is found cheating the case will be sent to the Associate Dean Academic for the Faculty of Science. The Associate Dean will then contact the student and deal with the situation. Typical consequences for cheating can be found here and here.

The last day to withdraw from this class without record is January 19; without a failing grade (that is, with a W grade) is March 15.

Prerequisites

The prerequisites are not just a formality: we expect you to have a working knowledge of previous concepts. You should be comfortable with derivatives and basic integrals; with exponentials and basic trigonometric functions.

How to succeed in this course

There is little doubt that differential equations are useful: besides the fact that they are the natural language of physics, they are used throughout the sciences and engineering, from weather prediction to space flight to nanotechnology and financial modelling. So one important feature of this class is the acquisition of technical skills that you need to apply in practical situations. But that is just part of the story. When you study calculus and differential equations, you learn about the language of science. You gain access to the ideas of several of the greatest scientific minds, like Newton, Leibnitz, Euler, Gauss. Whether you believe it or not, as the distinguished mathematician I. Gelfand said, "the most important thing a student can get from the study of Mathematics is the attainment of a higher intellectual level".

With Mathematics, like with any advanced skill, the learning process is never quick nor painless. Here are a few things to consider that might help you succeed in this class: