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What do I need to know to learn intro to PDEs?

  1. Jan 5, 2012 #1
    Hi everybody.
    I need to take a course this spring called "intro to partial differential equations, fourier series, and boundary value problems", and I'm wondering, how much vector calculus (if any) should I learn before this course starts? I have multivariable calculus and ODEs down just fine, but I don't have vector calculus. For example, would I have to know Green's Theorem and Stokes' Theorem?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2012 #2
    I didn't use any vector calculus in my pde course. I doubt you will either. If you know multivariable calculus and ode's, you should be fine.
  4. Jan 5, 2012 #3
    Vector calculus will not be the most crucial.

    But an upper level PDEs course can be heavy on analysis.
  5. Jan 5, 2012 #4
    It depends really, because in my PDE course we used gradients and cross products in the throughout the course (Existence and uniqueness), and started using the divergence theorem and Green's identities when we were looking at the Laplace equation. We also did basic analysis.

    However, my PDE course was a upper level/graduate course, so you may not encounter the things im talking about in an intro course, but I would suggest at least looking at gradients, dot products, and cross products if you can.

    Good luck.
  6. Jan 5, 2012 #5
    Would you need complex analysis for such a class (upper-level "applied" PDE)?
  7. Jan 5, 2012 #6
    Alright thanks guys! Looks like I was worrying over nothing. If it turns out that I need analysis then I've learned enough analysis for it already.
  8. Jan 5, 2012 #7
    I had a similarly-titled course. The most sophisticated math you need to know is probably the Residues theorem from complex analysis, everything else just comes straight from calculus/analysis and very basic ODE's.
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