MAT 303: Calculus IV with Applications

Spring 2004

SUNY at Stony Brook
Department of Mathematics
SUNY at Stony Brook

The course is an introduction to ordinary differential equations.The material covers standard techniques of solving linear differential equations with constant coefficients and systems of differential equations. Differential equations play a profound role in expressing physical laws and have numerous applications in applied science, economics, life and social sciences. We will discuss most common applications, as well as numerical methods for solving differential equations.

Textbook: Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems: Computing and Modeling, 3rd Edition, by Edwards & Penney, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004.

Note that the second and third editions of the book have similar text, but the problems are different. If you own the second edition, in order to do the homework you'll need to borrow the third edition from a friend, or look at the book in the library, or in the Math Learning Center.

Prerequisite: The completion of one of the standard calculus sequences (MAT 125-127, MAT 131-132, or MAT 141-142) with the grade C or higher in MAT 127 or 132 or 142 or AMS 161. The course will heavily rely on the material covered in the standard calculus sequence. The familiarity with complex numbers and the knowledge of the basic concepts of linear algebra are required. The 200-level courses MAT 203/205 (Calculus III) or AMS 261, and MAT 211 (Linear Algebra) are strongly recommended.

Instructor: Leon  Takhtajan, Math Tower 5-111, Office Hours: Tu W, 4-5 pm, and by appointment.
Phone: 632-8287 email:

Recitation instructor and grader: Anirban Dutta, Math. Tower 2-121, e-mail:

Lectures: New material is presented each week at the lectures.You are encouraged to read the corresponding section of the text before attending each lecture.

Class schedule:
LEC 1 TuTh 9:50am-11:10am Hvy Engr Lab 201 Takhtajan, Leon
R01 F 11:45am-12:40pm S B Union 237 Dutta, Anirban
R02 W 11:45am-12:40pm Earth&Space 69 Dutta, Anirban


Homework: Doing the homework is a fundamental part of the course and you are supposed to work hard on the problems assigned in order to succeed in the course. Homework will be posted weekly on the web page and will be collected in class on Thursdays, a week after the material is covered in lectures. Late homework will not be accepted, no exceptions. The homework will consist of two parts. The first part deals with analytic problems, solutions to which require only pencil and paper. Problems marked by asterisk are required in order to get the full homework grade. The second part consists of application modules and is based on Maple, Mathematica or MATLAB software packages, as described in the textbook and in the Applications Manual.

Sofware: Maple and Mathematica disks can be purchased from the Seawolves store for $5 each. The disks are not on the shelves, so you have to ask for them (if someone says that they do not sell them, ask for Donald Linne). The Seawolves do not sell MATLAB, which can be purchased directly from Academic Superstore on-line. Maple, Mathematica and MATLAB are installed on ten SINC site computers around campus (in particular, in S-235, Math. Tower).


Make sure that you are available at these times, as there will be no make-ups for missed midterm exams. Laptops, cell phones, calculators, books, notes, etc., are not allowed during exams. If you miss an exam for an acceptable reason and provide a valid  written excuse, the relevant midterm will be dropped in computing your course grade. Incomplete grade will be granted only if documented circumstances beyond your control prevent you from taking the final exam. The final exam is cumulative and will be based on all material covered in the course.

Grading: Your course grade will be based on your examination performance and homework, weighted as follows: two midterms in class 20% each, homework Part I 20%, homework Part II 10%, and the final exam 30%.

Help: The Math Learning Center (MLC) is in S-240A, Math. Tower. This is a place where students can go for help and where study groups can meet. The MLC is open 10 am-9pm Monday through Wednesday,  10am-6pm Thursday and 10am-2pm on Friday. If you want a private tutoring, there is a list of mathematics graduate students who tutor in the Undergraduate Mathematics Office, Math. Tower, P-143.

All necessary information regarding the course will be regularly posted on the World Wide Web, and can be accessed by pointing your browser to

Americans with Disabilities Act

If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, room 128, (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential. Students requiring emergency evacuation are encouraged to discuss their needs with their professors and Disability Support Services. For procedures and information, go to the following web site: