Robert B. Kusner

Director of the Center

(This page is like a cathedral: always under reconstruction ;-)

Ordinary Differential Equations (Math 331.7) Spring 2018

(While under construction, please be patient: more details will follow during the semester.)

Time and Place:

Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:30-3:45PM in Goessmann 51 (southwestern corner of building, ground floor)

Office Hours:

Before class (1-2:15PM Tu & Th) starting in LGRT 1535 or 1435G (and migrating toward the classroom); and in any event, please make an appointment via email:

Teaching Assistants:

Mondays: Xueying Yu 4-6PM, Jie Wang 5-6PM in HASA 228
Tuesdays: Cory Ward 4-6PM, Xueying Yu 5-6PM in HASA 228
Wednesdays: Jonathan Maack 4-6PM, Cory Ward 5-6PM in HASA 228
Thursdays: Jie Wang 4-6PM, Jonathan Maack 5-6PM in HASA 228

Course Description and Prerequisites:

Introduction to ordinary differential equations. First and second order linear differential equations, systems of linear differential equations, Laplace transform, numerical methods, applications. To be successful in the class, you should have a good working knowledge of Calculus (Math 131, Math 132 and perhaps Math 233) and bit of Linear Algebra (Math 235).

Required Text:

Elementary Differential Equations, 11th Edition (2017) by William E. Boyce, Richard C. DiPrima & Douglas B. Meade.

An electronic copy of the textbook is integrated in the homework system Wiley-Plus that we will use for the class. When setting-up your account with Wiley-Plus there will be an option to purchase a hard copy of the book for a (small) extra-fee.

Step 1: Go to Wiley web site (special link for UMass) to purchase the eTextbook + Wiley-Plus registration code at the special price of $50. For an extra fee of $25 you can also purchase a hard copy of the book. Students MUST use their discount code here; if you purchase on any other link, you will not get the discount.
Step 2: Watch the video on basics of purchasing, registering and accessing support.
Step 3: Find your class section by browsing or directly using the following course ID

Section 331.7 Course ID: 626220

Create an account (be sure to use your UMASS CAMPUS EMAIL as your username, type in the exactly same first name and last name as you used on SPIRE) and sign-up for your class using the discount code you purchased at the above site. Please make sure to sign up for the correct section.

Go to the Wiley-Plus web site to sign in and complete homework.

Homework Topic Schedule:

Please see the course chair's webpage for further schedule details and written homework, the first of which will be drawn from the midterm practice problems: please start on these now!

Try solving all 25 of them before you take the midterm exam next Thursday at 7PM 22 February in ISB 135 (you may also want to bring a calculator to the exam). And please write up and turn in the following 5 midterm practice problems - 3, 8, 9, 23, 24 - as homework at the beginning of class on Thursday 22 February - this is the only time and place this homework will be accepted!


Course grades will be based in roughly equal parts on the homework (on-line and written), on the midterm (7-9PM Th 22 Feb), and on the final exam (TBA). Please see the course chair's webpage for further grading details.

Exam details:

The Midterm Exam is scheduled for 7PM Thursday 22 February 2018 in ISB 135. You may want to bring (and use) a calculator!

All students are expected to take the exam at the regular time and place, unless they have contacted both me and the course chair at least 10 days in advance about qualifying (because of another exam with a higher SPIRE priority) for the make-up exam (7PM Friday 23 February in LGRT 219).

The Final Exam is now scheduled on SPIRE for 10:30AM Friday 4 May 2018 in Mahar 108. Please check SPIRE for any updates!

Have a great summer!!!!!!