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

  • Thread starter Turion
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In summary, the speaker's professor is unhappy about having to skip over first-order differential equations due to time constraints. They mention briefly learning about first-order DEs in a Calculus class and ask if knowledge of first-order DEs is necessary for understanding second-order DEs. The speaker suggests that knowing how to separate variables, use integrating factors, and use substitutions is sufficient for first-order DEs, but second-order DEs are a different concept and do not necessarily require knowledge of first-order DEs.
  • #1
Turion
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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.
 
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  • #2
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.
 

1. What is the difference between first-order and second-order differential equations?

First-order differential equations involve the first derivative of an unknown function, while second-order differential equations involve the second derivative. This means that second-order differential equations are more complex and often require more advanced mathematical techniques to solve.

2. Is it necessary to learn first-order differential equations before second-order?

It is not necessary to learn first-order differential equations before second-order, as they are two separate and distinct concepts. However, having a strong understanding of first-order differential equations can provide a solid foundation for learning second-order equations.

3. Can I learn second-order differential equations without any prior knowledge?

It is possible to learn second-order differential equations without any prior knowledge, but it may be more challenging. It is recommended to have a basic understanding of calculus and first-order differential equations before attempting to learn second-order equations.

4. How long does it typically take to learn second-order differential equations?

The time it takes to learn second-order differential equations varies depending on the individual's mathematical background and learning pace. For some, it may take a few weeks or months, while for others it may take longer.

5. Are there any resources available for learning second-order differential equations?

Yes, there are many resources available for learning second-order differential equations, including textbooks, online courses, and video tutorials. It is recommended to find a resource that suits your learning style and to practice solving problems regularly to improve your understanding.

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