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I have a question with regards to solving problems that require knowledge of which variable is dependent and which is independent. Suppose I am presented with the differential equation [itex]x^5 y^{(4)} - x^3 y'' + 6y = 0[/itex]; for this differential equation I am asked to determine if it is linear or not. My question does not pertain to linearity, but is, how do I know which variable is the dependent? Is my knowing this solely due to the fact that the equation contains y and its derivatives, or does this not imply that y is the dependent variable?

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# Determining Which Variable Is Independent

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