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
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.
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:
Many ideas and notions are discussed along the course, and just
memorizing them does not mean you can use them
effectively in the context of limited time within an exam. It is all about understanding and practicing. So, practice-practice-practice is the name of the game.
The assignments, and even the recommended practice questions, are only the tip of the iceberg:
this class requires you to practice continuously.
- If you are taking this course it means that you passed both MATH 111 and MATH 122. It will be assumed that you have a working knowledge of the topics on those courses. What does this mean? It
means that you are able to do the majority of the exercises of the corresponding textbooks.
"Able to do the exercises" means that you can do it without looking at the text nor a sample solution, and that
you can get the right answer.
- Keep up with the material covered in class. Mathematics classes tend to build directly on what you have
already learned. If you fall behind it can be very difficult to catch up.
- Do lots of practice problems. Think of the list of recommended problems as a starting point and,
if after having completed those problems you are still having difficulty, then do even more problems. If you can barely do the questions
from the assignment, it is hard to imagine that you would be able to do a related question, without help, under the stress situation of the exam. Conclusion: practice, practice, practice.
- Take advantage of the additional resources available to you. These include the book, the instructor's office
hours, the SI sessions, information on the web, etc.
- The topics will become second nature if you take the time to understand why
they are what they are, and then you use them by doing lots of problems.
- Study with the goal of understanding "why" instead of just trying rote memorization.
- Make sure to present your work clearly.
- Group work can help a lot, if it means that the group works together towards building a solution to each problem. But note that all of your grades come from examinations, where you will have to do the problems on your own.