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Course Title: Differential Equations, M23
Lectures: Kemeny 105, MWF 10:00-11:05
Instructor: Erik van Erp
Office: Kemeny, room 308
Office hours: Mon+Tue 11:15-12:30, Wed 3:00-4:00
Phone: 603-646-9837
E-mail: erik.van.erp at dartmouth dot edu

Course description

This course is a first introduction to differential equations. A differential equation is an equation that defines a relation between a function and its derivatives. We learn about different types of differential equations and some of the standard techniques by which they are solved.

Course prerequisites

Calculus of Vector-Valued Functions (M13)


Elementary differential equations and boundary value problems, Ninth edition, by William E. Boyce and Richard C. DiPrima.
The textbook comes with a CD (``The ODE Architect Companion") with an interactive software which is useful for investigating differential equations and their solutions.


We will follow the textbook and aim to cover in full or in part the following chapters:

  • First Order Differential Equations
  • Second Order Linear Equations
  • Higher Order Linear Equations
  • Series Solutions of Second Order Linear Equations
  • Systems of First Order Linear Equations
  • Partial Differential Equations and Fourier Series
  • Vibrating drum


There will be two mid-term exams, a final exam, and no quizzes. The mid-term exams are scheduled in the evenings from 4-6pm, with a make-up time from 6-8pm.

MidTerm I: Tuesday, October 20, 4-6pm. Location: Carpenter 013.
MidTerm II: Tuesday, November 10, 4-6pm. Location: Carpenter 013.
Final: Saturday, December 5, 8-11am. Location: Kemeny 008.

Solutions for Midterm I.
Solutions for Midterm II.


Homework will be assigned weekly. Each homework must be submitted next week at the beginning of the class on Friday. Late homework will not be accepted. . 


Midterm Exams: 25% each
Final Exam: 35%
Homework: 15%

Honors code

Collaboration and discussion of general ideas related to homework problems are allowed and encouraged. However you must write down all solutions by yourself in your own words; copying is obviously a violation of the honor code. No collaboration is permitted on exams. Calculators are not permitted on exams. 

Free tutorials

Three times a week, on the night before class, Scott LaLonde, a graduate student in mathematics, will run the tutorials for Math 23. Participation in these tutorials is highly recommended.
Time: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, 7-9 PM.
Location: Haldeman 028.

Private tutoring

Tutor Clearinghouse may have private one-on-one tutors available for Math 23. Tutors are recruited on the basis that they have done well in the subject, and are trained by the Academic Skills Center. If you receive financial aid, the College will pay for three hours of tutoring per week. If you would like to have a tutor, please go to 301 Collis and fill out an application.

Religious observance

Some students may wish to take part in religious observances that occur during this academic term. If you have a religious observance that conflicts with your participation in the course, please meet with me before the end of the second week of the term to discuss appropriate accommodations.

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities who will be taking this course and may need disability related classroom accommodations are encouraged to make an appointment to see their instructor as soon as possible. Also, they should stop by the Academic Skills Center in Collis Center to register for support services.