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Math 276 Modern Differential Equations

Course Title: MAT276#13142 Modern Differential Equations (4 credits)

Class Times: Spring 2019 (1/14/19–5/10/19) MTWR 9:00-9:50am
Class Location: GCC Main Campus Mathematics Building, MA-100
Class Format: Face-to-Face

Instructor: Brad Dallas

Phone: 623-845-3603
E-Mail: brad.dallas@gccaz.edu

Office: GCC Main Campus Mathematics Building, MA-154

Office Hours: MTWRF 10:00-10:50am (MA-154); F 9:00-10:50am (MA-190)

Course Description
Introduces differential equations, theoretical and practical solution techniques with applications. Problem solving
using MATLAB. Note: Students may receive credit for only one of the following: MAT276 or MAT277.

Grade of “C” or better in MAT230, MAT231, or permission of Department or Division. Concurrent or prior
enrollment in MAT240 is strongly encouraged.

Polking, Boggess, and Arnold. Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems. 2nd Edition. Pearson, 2006.
Polking and Arnold. Ordinary Differential Equations using MATLAB. 3rd Edition. Pearson, 2006. (Optional)
Polking and Arnold. Student Solutions Manual. 2nd Edition. Pearson, 2006. (Optional)

A graphing calculator is recommended for the successful completion of this course. While many calculators will
suffice, in class demonstrations and examples will utilize a Texas Instruments TI-89 graphing calculator.

• In-depth study of modern differential equations and their applications.
• Learn to utilize technology to explore numerical methods for solving equations.
• Continue in the development of problem solving skills.
• Develop the attitude that mathematics is a useful tool in life.
• Prepare students for higher mathematics and STEM pathways.

To help students achieve the performance objectives for the course, instruction will fully integrate real world
applications, methods that develop mathematical literacy, problem solving ability, skills proficiency, and efficient
use of the calculator. The use of the calculator will be fully integrated in the course material and permitted in doing
all assignments, class activities, projects, quizzes, and exams. Discovery oriented processes and teamwork will be
used whenever possible. The activities used will be carefully selected to allow investigation of models that lead
students to construct their own mathematical understanding of concepts.
Course Competencies
• Solve analytically and numerically ordinary differential equations, primarily of first or second order, using
exact, implicit, or discrete approximation solution types.
• Solve analytically and numerically systems of ordinary linear differential equations using matrix methods and
Laplace Transforms or differential operator methods.
• Solve application problems using differential equations.
• Linearize non-linear systems and describe the long-term behavior of solutions.
• Read and interpret quantitative information when presented numerically, analytically or graphically.
• Compare alternate solution strategies, including technology.
• Justify and interpret solutions to application problems.
• Communicate process and results in written and verbal formats.

Evaluation of the extent of student learning will include:
• Class participation and team work cooperation.
• Graded and ungraded, online, individual assignments and projects.
• Quizzes and exams that assess concept understanding, heuristic problem solving skills, articulation skills,
computational and analytical skills, and efficient, effective use of the calculator/computer.
• A comprehensive final evaluation.

Assessment of the student’s performance will allow for different learning styles and evaluate the student’s ability to
articulate, integrate, and apply concepts covered in class. Written essay evaluation may be utilized to determine the
student’s understanding. To build healthy attitudes and to develop ways to be successful in learning, feedback and
credit will be given for the work performed by the student and the logic used to obtain a result, not just for correct

Minimum acceptable level of performance will include:

• Demonstrated efficient use of the calculator/computer in solving problems.
• Demonstrated ability to justify results with appropriate logical explanations.
• Demonstrated ability to perform stated objectives covered in the course using correct mathematical syntax.
• Demonstrated ability to determine if an answer is reasonable.
• Demonstrated understanding of terminology presented in the course.
• Demonstrated ability to articulate mathematical ideas.

Attendance and punctuality are required. You may be withdrawn from the course for failing to attend the first
scheduled class meeting or accumulating a total of unofficial absences greater than or equal to the equivalent of one
week of class without instructor knowledge or prior approval. Two tardies count as an absence.

If for some reason you decide to drop this course, you are advised to discuss it first with your instructor. If you are
having difficulties, please see your instructor before giving up or dropping the class.

Please refer to the General Catalog & Student Handbook to become familiar with policies on scholastic standards
including attendance, grading, and withdrawal, and student rights and responsibilities including accommodations
and student conduct.
Math 276 Schedule Spring 2019

1/14 1/16
Introduction First-Order Equations
Differential Equations 2.1
1/21 1/23
Martin Luther King Day Separable Equations
Models of Motion
1/28 1/30
Linear Equations Mixing Problems
2.4 Exact Differential Equations
2/4 2/6
Autonomous Equations and Stability Exam 1

2/11 2/13
Second-Order Equations Homogeneous Equations
4.1-4.2 4.3

2/18 2/20
Presidents’ Day Higher-Order Linear Equations

2/25 2/27
Inhomogeneous Equations Variation of Parameters
Method of Undetermined Coefficients 4.6
3/4 3/6
Exam 2 Laplace Transforms

3/11 3/13
Spring Break Spring Break

3/18 3/20
Inverse Laplace Transform Solving Equations
5.3 5.4

3/25 3/27
Discontinuous Forcing Terms Linear Systems
5.5 8.1

4/1 4/3
Qualitative Analysis Exam 3
4/8 4/10
Properties of Linear Systems Eigenvalues & Eigenvectors
8.4-8.5 9.1

4/15 4/17
Planar Systems Higher-Dimensional Systems
9.2 9.5

4/22 4/24
Phase Plane Portraits Exam 4
Trace-Determinant Plane
4/29 5/1
Exponential of a Matrix Inhomogeneous Linear Systems
9.6 9.9

5/6 5/8
No Class Final Exam

The course schedule is tentative and subject to change to meet the needs of the instructor and/or the class.
However, this should give you a good idea of what sections to anticipate.

Daily Work: 20%
Tests: 60%
Final Exam: 20%

Grades will be computed based on scores from the weighted categories above. Final grades are based on the
following grading scale. The instructor reserves the right to reward students for class participation, attitude, and

A at least 90% in total AND at least 80% on the final exam

B at least 80% in total AND at least 65% on the final exam
C at least 65% in total AND at least 50% on the final exam
D at least 50% in total AND at least 50% on the final exam
F less than 50% in total OR less than 50% on the final exam

Daily work will include in-class activities and assessments along with homework problems assigned from the
textbook. Your homework grade will be based on the percentage of total points earned out of the total number of
points possible, rounded to the nearest whole number. Late homework will not be accepted.

There will be four pencil-and-paper tests and several quizzes. You will have a maximum of 50 minutes to complete
each exam. For the coverage and approximate date of each exam, please refer to the course schedule. Exams may
be made up only in the case of an official absence.

The final exam is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8th, 2018 from 9:00-10:50am. You will have a maximum of 110
minutes to complete the final exam. The exam will cover material from the entire term, and all students must take
the final exam at the scheduled time.
Student Services
The Math Solution provides free, walk-in tutoring for all Mathematics students at GCC. In addition, the Math
Solution offers computers for doing online math homework, group study rooms, and calculator rental services.
The Math Solution is located in the Mathematics Building, MA-190 (623-845-3813) and is open
MTWR 7:00am-8:00pm, Fri 7:00am-4:00pm, and Sat 9:00am-1:00pm.

Disability Services
If you have a documented disability, including a learning disability, and would like to discuss possible
accommodations, please contact the GCC Disabilities Resources and Services office at 623-845-3080 or email

Academic Integrity
It is presumed that all students will be honest in their academic activities. However, in the unlikely event that a
student does choose to engage in academic misconduct, then the student may be subject to the sanctions outlined in
the General Catalog & Student Handbook.

Sexual Harassment Statement

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe,
persistent or pervasive that it alters working conditions and creates a hostile environment or reasonably interferes
with, limits, or deprives a student of the ability to participate in or benefit from any educational program or activity.
Sexual harassment and discrimination in any college education program or activity are prohibited.

Sexual Harassment may include hostile environment harassment, sexual assault, inducing incapacitation for sexual
purposes, sexual exploitation or dating violence and stalking. Students should report any discrimination and/or
harassment they experience and/or observe to the GCC Office of Student Life in the Student Union at 623-845-3525
or email laura.dodrill@gccaz.edu. To view the full Sexual Harassment Policy refer to the Student Handbook.

Student Responsibility
You are responsible for the information contained in this syllabus. In addition, every student is expected to know
and comply with all current published policies, rules, and regulations as printed in the college catalog, class
schedule, and/or student handbook.

The information contained in this syllabus is subject to change. Any changes to the syllabus will be announced in
class. You are responsible for any changes to the syllabus announced in class whether or not you are in attendance.


Make sure that you fully understand what is presented in class and how to do each assigned problem correctly.
Every day participation is the key to doing well in this course. Keeping organized notes of what is done in class
should help, but do not hesitate to ask questions whenever something is unclear.

Your work outside of class (5–10 hrs/wk) should consist of reading the provided materials and working on the
homework problems. Some of the class time will be devoted to discussing the homework problems, but most of the
work on these problems will be done outside of class. Discussions with classmates are encouraged.

Remember that the best way to learn mathematics is to discuss it with others: other students in this class, students
that took this class before (including tutors in The Math Solution), and me. I will be glad to talk to you during my
office hours, or you can make an appointment.