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Skipping elementary differential equations?

  1. Dec 21, 2007 #1
    Hi. I am setting up math courses at ASU, and I am in a kind of bind.

    The original course that I was signing up for, required me to send in material that I've covered so I could be verified, however, without warning, they marked me as already finishing the course due to that material. So although I am past that course, I still need a math course for the Spring. The other ones that I was planning on taking do not exist anymore, so I have gotten down to two courses that would best fit me and are offered this Spring. Elementary Differential Equations, and Modern Differential Equations.

    The problem is that I cannot fit the times for Elementary Differential Equations into my schedule, so I am forced to take Modern Differential Equations. Although they told me that I can take either course, is it smart to take Modern Differential Equations without ever taking Elementary Differential Equations (or any differential equations beyond that covered in calculus and multivariable calculus).
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2007 #2


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    It is to the professor of the Modern Differential Equations that you should ask that question.

    In my experience however, elementary ordinary differential equations is an easy topic that could be learned on your own in just a few days. It consists only of recognizing which type of differential equation you're dealing with, and plugging in the appropriate algorith to find the solution. To give you an idea, the complete summary of results from my ODE course fits on 3 pages.

    I recommend the user friendly book by Boyce and Di Prima.
  4. Dec 21, 2007 #3


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    i like the books by martin braun, and by guterman and nitecki for beginners, and the classic by w. hurewicz for theory. edwards and penney is good too at a beginning level. i dont like it so much but the book by blanchard and devaney is well liked by some at a beginning level.

    by far the best ode book i have seen at a higher level is the one by arnol'd.

    well the description on the website makes it clear these two courses are not consecutive at aLL, since YOU CAN ONLY GET CREDIT for one of them.

    rather the elementary course is primarily for applications, aimed at engineers, and the modern course includes theory hence aimed also at math majors.

    so which are you?
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2007
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