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Is is possible to learn second-order DE before first-order?

  1. Sep 4, 2013 #1
    My professor is complaining that the university is forcing her to skip over first-order DE.

    We very briefly learned first-order DE in a Calculus class.

    Does learning second-order DE rely on previous knowledge from first-order DE? The reason I am asking is because my time is limited.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 4, 2013 #2


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    Learning about 1st order DEs shouldn't take too long ( Depending on how in depth you want to go ). Knowing how to separate variables, use integrating factors and use substitutions should be enough to give you a feel of 1st order DEs; if your time is as limited as you claim.

    Second order DEs are completely different ( Though some can be turned into a first order DE ). You don't really need to know first orders to be able to do them, but I feel that would hurt the learning process personally.
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