COURSE OUTLINE FOR Differential Equations & Matrix Methods

COURSE OUTLINE FOR Differential Equations & Matrix Methods


Treatment of ordinary differential equations to include principle types of first and
second order equations; methods of substitution on simple higher order equations;
linear equations and systems of linear equations with constant coefficients;
methods of undetermined coefficients and variation of parameters; Laplace
transforms; series solutions; linear algebra and matrix methods of solutions;
applications to physics and engineering. Prerequisite: MA243


This course is required by the Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering,
Avionics, Engineering Technology and Engineering Physics degree programs. Its
purpose is to provide intermediate mathematical skills for the student to use in
many of the applications he will encounter in future engineering courses.


1. Recognize and solve separable , homogeneous, exact, and linear first order
differential equations.

2. Construct and solve appropriate differential equations for applied problems
involving mixtures, populations, and Newtonian Mechanics.

3. Calculate numerical solutions of differential equations.

4. Solve homogeneous, linear second and higher order differential equations
with constant coefficients.

5. Solve nonhomogeneous, linear second and higher order differential
equations with constant coefficients by the Method of Undetermined
Coefficients and the Method of Variation of Parameters.

6. Construct and solve applied problems involving mechanical vibrations,
forced vibrations, and electric circuits.

7. Compute Laplace transforms of polynomials , exponential and trigonometric

8. Compute inverse Laplace transforms of rational function and solve initialvalue
problems by Laplace Transform Method.

9. Find a power series solution to a given differential equation.

10. Solve a linear system by the Gauss-Jordan elimination method and by Matrix

11. Compute eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a given matrix.

12. Solve systems of 1st order linear differential equations by Matrix Methods.


Nagel, and Saff, Fundamentals of Differential Equations, 4th Edition,
Addison Wesley , 1996.


a. Robert L. Borrelli and Courtney S. Coleman, Differential Equations,
Modeling Perpectives, John Wiley and Sons, 1997.
b. Beverely West, Steven Strogatz, Jean Marie McDill and John Cantwell,
Interactive Differential Equations, Addison Wesley, 1997.


1. Properties , derivatives, integrals, and inverses of all the elementary
functions. This includes the trigonometric functions, logarithms and
exponentials, power functions and hyperbolic functions.

2. Techniques of integration, including integration by parts, variable
substitution, trigonometric substitution, and the method of partial
fractions decomposition .

3. L’Hospital’s rule.

4. Improper integrals.

5. Partial derivatives.

6. Determinants and Cramer’s Rule.

7. Taylor Series.

8. Vectors, including vector addition, scalar multiplication and dot
product .

Course Objectives
1. First order and simple
higher order differential
9 Understand the concepts of a general solution, an
initial or boundary condition and the order of a
differential equation. Solve equations using
techniques such as direct integration, exact
differentials, separation of variables, integrating
factors and special variable substitutions .
2. Linear omogeneous
differential equations
-constant coefficients.
8 Understand the concepts of linear operators & linear
independence of solutions. Be able to use the
Wronskian determinant to test for linear
independence. Solve linear homogeneous
differential equations in which the solutions of the
auxiliary equation are real, complex or repeated. Use
Euler’s formula to express complex exponentials in
terms of sine and cosine.
3. Nonhomogeneous
linear differential
6 Recognize the general form of solutions of
nonhomogeneous equations. Use the methods of
variation of parameters and either the method of
undetermined coefficients or operator methods to
construct particular solutions.
4. Applications of linear
differential equations.
2 Formulate and solve some simple spring and circuit
problems involving linear differential equations with
constant coefficients. applications include
mechanical resonance.
5. Laplace transforms. 5 Compute Laplace transforms of polynomials,
trigonometric and exponential functions. Compute
inverse Laplace transforms of rational functions. Use
Laplace transforms to solve differential equations.
6. Numerical solutions
of differential eqtns.
3 Use linear approximations and power series to solve
differential equations.
7. Matrix algebra 3 Multiply matrices by scalars. Add and multiply
matrices. Represent systems of linear algebraic
equations as matrices and solve by matrix reduction.
8. Matrix inverses 3 Find inverses of matrices using either determinants or
matrix reduction. Use matrix inverses to solve
systems of linear equations.
9. Eigenvectors and
3 Compute eigenvectors and eigenvalues of a given
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