MAT 303: Calculus IV with Applications

Fall 2003

SUNY at Stony Brook
Department of Mathematics
SUNY at Stony Brook

The course is the 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 200-level courses MAT 203/205 (Calculus III) or AMS 261, and MAT 211 (Linear Algebra) are not required but are strongly recommended.

Instructor: Leon  Takhtajan, Math Tower 5-111, Office Hours: M, 3:30 - 4:30 pm, W, 1:30 - 2:30 pm, and by appointment.
Phone: 632-8287 email:

Recitation instructor and grader: Daniel An, Math. Tower 2-107, 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 MWF 11:45am-12:40pm Physics P116 Takhtajan, Leon
R01 Tu 9:50am-10:45am Physics P116 An, Daniel


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 during the recitation session a week after the material is covered in class. For example, the assignment posted on Wednesday, September 10, will be based on the material covered in class during the week 9/14-9/20 and will be due on Tuesday, September 23. Late homework will not be accepted, no exceptions. Most of the homework problems can be checked using Maple, a symbolic algebra program. However, you should not become dependent on Maple since on the exams it will be assumed that you can do analytically all problems on the homework, and no other devices, except pencil and paper, will be allowed on the tests.


Advisory letter grades for the Midterm III (not recorded)
  0-25     F
 26-42    D
 43-68  C,C+
 69-80 B-,B. B+
 80-85     A-
    A, A+

The final exam will cover sections 1.1-1.6, 2.2-2.3, 3.1-3.3, 3.5, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4-5.6, 6.1, 6.2. The best practice for the exam is a review of the relevant homework assignments. It is also very helpful to go over examples in class, in the textbook, and solutions of midterms I-III.

Make sure that you are available at these times, as there will be no make-ups for missed mid-term exams. Laptops, calculators, books, notes, etc., are not allowed during exams. If you miss an exam for an acceptable reason and provide an acceptable written excuse, the relevant mid-term 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, take home midterm 15%, homework 15% and the final exam 30%.

Help: The Math Learning Center (MLC) is in Physics A-127. 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 should be a list of mathematics graduate students who tutor in the Undergraduate Mathematics Office, Math. Tower, P-143.

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

DSS advisory. If you have a physical, psychiatric, medical, or learning disability that may affect your ability to carry out the assigned course work, please contact the office of Disabled Student Services (DSS), Humanities Building, room 133, telephone  632-6748/TDD. DSS will review your concerns and determine what accommodations may be necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation of disability is confidential.