Joseph M. Mahaffy SDSU
Math 531: Partial Differential Equations Spring 2017
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Course Information for Math 531

Course Description

This course introduces students to differential equations. Computers are used for  modeling examples with MatLab, Maple, and Excel, being the primary computer tools demonstrated.

Details of the course and timelines are available on the HW Assignment page.

Math 531 - Spring 2017

Joseph Mahaffy
Professor, Mathematical Biology
Lectures: MW 14:00-15:15 in GMCS 325 Office phone: 619-594-3743

Office Hours: MW 13-13:50,

Fax: 619-594-6746
Office location: GMCS 593 E-mail:


Math 252, 254, and 337 (or equivalent)

  1. Math 252: Calculus III
    • Series and Integration of Trigonometric Functions
    • Vectors, Partial derivatives, and Gradients
    • Divergence Theorem or Gauss's Theorem
    • Multivariable Integration
  2. Math 254: Linear Algebra
    • Linear Independence
    • Orthogonality
    • Eigenvalues
  3. Math 337: Ordinary Differential Equations
    • Existence and Uniqueness of Solutions of ODEs
    • Solutions of Second Order Linear Differential Equations
    • Solving Non-homogeneous ODEs
    • Series Solutions of ODEs
    • Laplace Transforms for Solving ODEs


Haberman: Applied Partial Differential Equations with Fourier Series and Boundary Value Problems

(Either the 4th or 5th Edition should be fine.)

or Haberman

See Lecture Notes

Lab Manual (MatLab and Maple) and Lab Manual (Excel and Maple) are being developed with much of the first part completed and online.

Course Assessment and Grading

  • Grading:
    • Homework assignments, including WeBWorK (40%)
    • 2 Midterms (40%) (most likely a Take-Home exams only)
    • Final (20%) (most likely a Take-Home final)

The Syllabus has details on course policies.

For questions concerning the webpage contact Joseph Mahaffy.



Copyright © 2017 Joseph M. Mahaffy.