Math 211:

Ordinary Differential Equations and Linear Algebra

Summer 2004: June 2 - July 19


We will examine ordinary differential equations (ODEs). These arise naturally in the study of dynamical systems, and they pervade much of modern mathematics. We will cover basic qualitative methods as well as several explicit analytical methods to handle some common cases. In studying systems of ODEs, we shall need some linear algebra, and the necessary background will be introduced also. This course does not assume familiarity with linear algebra. Throughout the course, we will utilize MATLAB and/or some other computer algebra system for visualization and numerical computation.

Please note that this is very condensed 7-week version of a course that usually spans a term. As such, the pace is accelerated, and students are recommended not to enroll in more than one other summer course concurrent with this.


Name: Jer-Chin (Luke) Chuang
Office Hours: TR 1:30-3:00PM or by appointment
Phone: X-2867 or 713-320-0757
lukec [at] math [dot] rice [dot] edu


There are two books required for the course. The textbook and the third edition of the lab manual are available in a shrink wrapped package in the bookstore for the price of the textbook alone. Also, individual chapters of the third edition are available online.

Computer and owlnet information

Computer labs are available in Ryon 102 and in the Mudd Building adjacent. You will need an Owlnet account (see below).

Diagnostic Exam

At the end of the first class meeting, an optional diagnostic exam will be handed out. It will cover material from one-variable calculus that will be assumed in this course. Students who have difficulty completing the exam are advised to review the relevant material or consider taking this course another time.

Schedule and Homework Assignments

Homework Policies

Suggested problems will be assigned regularly. No homework will be collected or graded. Collaboration is encouraged, but please remember that students will be evaluated individually. I will gladly correct (not grade!) homework problems during office hours. Of course, I recommend working as many problems as needed to feel proficient with the material.


There will be six pop-quizzes (50-minutes each) throughout the course. The pop-quizzes will either be (1) distributed at the end of the class period and due by the beginning of the next or (2) distributed in class to be completed in the next 50-minutes of the class session. The lowest grade of these six evaluations will be dropped. Each pop-quiz will cover material introduced at least a week previous. Please do not slack!

Special needs

Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations: Please speak with me during the first week of class. All discussions will remain confidential. Students with disabilities will also need to contact Disability Support Services in the Ley Student Center.