Math 2a - Practical Track
Differential Equations
Fall 2008-09
MWF 10:00 AM // 22 Gates
Course Description | Policies | Textbooks | Lecture Notes | Handouts | Homework | Sections

Instructor: Danny Calegari, 251 Sloan, 395-4340,
Lead TA: Henry Adams, 156 Sloan, 626-395-6085,
Course Secretary: Kristy Aubry,

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Final review session will be on
December 6 @ 2:00 PM in 151 Sloan



Section 1 - Henry Adams
Office hours:
Sundays, 9 pm - 10 pm
cancelled on December 7. Rescheduled for Monday December 8, 11 am - 12 pm
Rm 156 Sloan, 626-395-6085
9:00 AM, Thurs.  

151 Sloan

Section 2 - Dan Betea
Office Hours: Fridays, 4 pm - 5 pm
Rm 382 Sloan, 626-395-4366
9:00 AM, Thurs.

153 Sloan

Section 3 - Vidya Ventkateswaren
Office Hours: Thursdays, 4 pm - 5 pm
Rm. 155, 626-395-4081
10:00 AM, Thurs.

151 Sloan

Section 4 -Jingjing Huang
Office Hours: Saturdays, 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Rm. 385, 626-395-1732
1:00 PM, Thurs.

153 Sloan

Section 5 - Sha Chang
Office Hours: Fridays, 3 pm - 4 pm

Rm. 382, 626-395-4366
2:00 PM, Thurs.
153 Sloan
Section 6 - Joel Louwsma
Office Hours: Sundays, 3 pm - 4 pm
Rm. 360, 626-395-4357
2:00 PM, Thurs.

269 Lauritsen



Homework: Homework will be posted online a week in advance and is due Mondays, 12pm (noon) in the appropriate box outside room 253 Sloan. Solutions will be posted online Thursday and discussed in section Thursday.

Grading: 50% homework, 25% midterm, 25% final. The midterm and final are 3-hour take-home exams that will be handed out in class.

Collaboration and Tools: Collaboration is allowed on the homework, but your write-up must be in your own words and may not be copied. Collaboration is not allowed on the exams. For homework sets you may use books and notes, but you may not consult homework sets or solutions from previous years of Math 2a Practical. For exams you may use your returned homework sets, their solutions as posted on this webpage, and the class textbook. For exams you may also use notes that you took in lecture. What if you miss a lecture? For no more than 2 lectures before the midterm, and for no more than 2 lectures between the midterm and final, you may use notes that you have copied by hand from a classmate. Computer/calculator usage: for homework sets and exams, unless explicitly stated otherwise, you may use a computer/calculator to plot direction fields. Use these plots only as guides, as you will not receive credit for justifications of the form "I know this because my computer/calculator told me so".

Late Policy: Each student will be allowed one homework extension, so long as they email their TA by midnight the night before it is due, asking for an extension and providing a reason. Such extensions will be until Wednesday at 12pm. Late homework sets without extensions (or those turned in after an extension deadline) will be graded as follows: if turned in less than a week after the original deadline (turned in before the following Monday, 12pm), the score will be multiplied by 50%. If turned in more than a week after the original deadline it will receive no credit. Under exceptional circumstances, a note from the Dean or Health Center may be considered. Late exams will not be accepted except under exceptional circumstances.

Go to the recitations! Each week, a portion of the recitation will be dedicated to introducing some computational (or even theoretical) aspect which the Instructor will not have time to present in class. In general, get to know your TA and bug him/her to death (figuratively speaking) with your questions, and try to fill in all the holes in your understanding of the subject.


Elementary Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems, 8th edition, by W.E. Boyce, R.C. diPrima, Wiley & Sons. 0471433381

We shall treat most topics covered in the textbook. However, certain topics might be treated differently in class than they are in the book, and it is the material from class that you are assumed to know for the midterm and final.

Lecture Notes

Date Description


Date Description

 Only students taking Math 2a in the Fall of 2008 are 
permitted by the Honor Code to download solutions

Due Date Homework  Solutions
10/06/08 @ 12 PM Homework 1 Homework 1
10/13/08 @ 12 PM Homework 2 Homework 2
10/20/08 @ 12 PM Homework 3 revised Homework 3
10/27/08 @ 12 PM Homework 4 Homework 4
11/10/08 @ 12 PM Homework 5 Homework 5
11/17/08 @ 12 PM Homework 6 Homework 6
11/24/08 @ 12 PM Homework 7 Homework 7
12/02/08 @ 12 PM Homework 8 Homework 8

 Last update: November 28, 2007 | © California Institute of Technology | Questions?  scroomes @