Math 214. Differential Equations

Spring 2024


Practice Exam 2.
Practice Exam 2 Solutions. (The solutions are labeled problems 6,7,8.)

Practice Exam 1.
Practice Exam 1 Solutions. (The solutions are labeled problems 1,2,3,4,5.)

Announcements will be displayed here.

Course Description

Differential equation models, analytic solution techniques, qualitative solution concepts, and computer visualization for single equations and systems. Applications of differential equations. Prerequisite: Mathematics 210 or permission of the instructor. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. Under the old GEC, this course meets the Natural Science & Mathematics requirement.)

Elementary differential equations and boundary value problems 11-th edition, by W. Boyce and R. DiPrima.

The textbook is mandatory.

Topics we will cover

This course is a survey of important types of differential equations, both linear and nonlinear. Topics include the study of systems of ordinary differential equations, numerical solutions of first and second order equations and of systems, and the solution of elementary partial differential equations using Fourier series. From the textbook, we will cover chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10.

Student Learning Outcomes

Main Goals:

The course grade will be based on:
Homework 10%,
Midterms 60% (15% each),
Final Exam 30%.


There will be written homework roughly every week. The most recent homework will be posted in the announcements and a copy of all homeworks can be accessed here. Collaboration in the homework is permitted, however you must write in your own solutions to the exercises and submit it as your own.


There will be four midterms and one final exam. On the midterms and the final exam you must work on the problems on your own. No collaboration permitted in the exams.

The dates are:


Students are expected to come to every lecture and every exam.

If the dates of the exams conflict with Lake Forest approved events, inform me as soon as possible.

Description of instructional time and expectations:

This course meets 3 times per week for 4.5 hours per week. The course carries 1.0 course credit (equivalent to four semester credit hours). Students are expected to devote a minimum of 12 hours of total work per week (in-class time plus out-of-class work) to this course.

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is expected of all students - and faculty. It is a central norm of academic life. Plagiarism is a serious violation of this norm. The scholarship you produce is the key determinant of my evaluation of you as a student. Therefore, if the words and ideas of others are represented in your work as your own - or if you recycle an earlier piece of your writing without indicating as such - you are committing academic fraud. You should assume that your work is being monitored for all possible plagiarism. Cases of fraud will be penalized, with outcomes ranging from an "F" for the offending assignment to an "F" for the course, and including a hearing before the Academic Honesty Judicial Board and the notification of the Dean of Students. Please refer to this helpful guide on the Writing Center page, and educate yourself about plagiarism and how to prevent it. You are obliged to discuss with me any concerns you have about whether your work conforms to the policy. See the Lake Forest College Statement on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism and the Academic Honesty section of the College Catalog for more information.

Academic Resources, Protocols, and Policies

Click here: Academic Resources, Protocols, and Policies

Last modified on February 28, 2024.