Introduction to Differential Equations

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edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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21575 reviews

Course Description

How do you design:

  • A boat that doesn’t tip over as it bobs in the water?
  • The suspension system of a car for a smooth ride?
  • Circuits that tune to the correct frequencies in a cell phone?

How do you model:

  • The growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria?
  • Gene expression?
  • Online purchasing trends?

The answer: Differential Equations.

Differential equations are the language of the models we use to describe the world around us. In this mathematics course, we will explore temperature, spring systems, circuits, population growth, and biological cell motion to illustrate how differential equations can be used to model nearly everything in the world around us.

We will develop the mathematical tools needed to solve linear differential equations. In the case of nonlinear differential equations, we will employ graphical methods and approximation to understand solutions.

Photo by user: bizoo_n. Copyright © 2016 A...

How do you design:

  • A boat that doesn’t tip over as it bobs in the water?
  • The suspension system of a car for a smooth ride?
  • Circuits that tune to the correct frequencies in a cell phone?

How do you model:

  • The growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria?
  • Gene expression?
  • Online purchasing trends?

The answer: Differential Equations.

Differential equations are the language of the models we use to describe the world around us. In this mathematics course, we will explore temperature, spring systems, circuits, population growth, and biological cell motion to illustrate how differential equations can be used to model nearly everything in the world around us.

We will develop the mathematical tools needed to solve linear differential equations. In the case of nonlinear differential equations, we will employ graphical methods and approximation to understand solutions.

Photo by user: bizoo_n. Copyright © 2016 Adobe Systems Incorporated. Used with permission.

Reviews 10/10 stars
24 Reviews for Introduction to Differential Equations

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Pauline Taylor profile image
Pauline Taylor profile image

Pauline Taylor

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 2 months ago
I am looking for introduction to differential equations I found 2 I am doing maths and just Got to the algebra 1 stage and I see it has differential and liner algebra im doing it in a way like I was building a wall of knowledge learning everything I need to know about the section subject and topic before I move on to the next stage, so If I could find one that does not have calculus in it thanks, because I haven't reach calculus stage yet, and sorry if I posted it here I don`t know how to email the instructor. and sorry I will post a better review once I join the course, right now I am using Khan academy to build things up I need to know, sorry for the long text.
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SANDEEP KHARAT profile image
SANDEEP KHARAT profile image

SANDEEP KHARAT

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 2 months ago
Thank you MITx. Course was very helpful. Easy explanation and innovative visualization tools made is very interesting.
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Fedor Bublikov profile image
Fedor Bublikov profile image

Fedor Bublikov

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 3 months ago
This is one of the absolute best online courses on mathematics I have ever taken. Lecture snippets are very instructive and contain not only theory, but a lot of solved problems as well. Recitation sections were very innovative addition where collaboration with other fellow students are welcomed. Homework quizzes were difficult (as was expected from MIT), but fair. Small warning to the next possible students: there's A LOT of material covered, including some examples from the fascinating world of electronics (RLC circuits), so prepare wear your seat belt and happy learning :) .
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Hector Del Faro Odi profile image
Hector Del Faro Odi profile image

Hector Del Faro Odi

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 5 months ago
Excellent course, congratulations for the team .
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Himanshu Shekhar singh profile image
Himanshu Shekhar singh profile image

Himanshu Shekhar singh

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 6 months ago
Fantastic ,differential equation describe excellent and how to use in existing system in life is best and fantastic
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Ioannis Zachos profile image
Ioannis Zachos profile image

Ioannis Zachos

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
An excellent course from every aspect. The material was stimulating, nicely paced, focused more on the qualitative aspects of ODE (ordinary differential equations) not neglecting, though, the procedural part (methods, techniques of solution) and some theoretical background supporting these methods. I had taken a “dry” course on ODE some thirty years ago. “Dry” in the sense that it offered only methods and techniques of solution for a large variety of ODE, leaving out the most valuable part, which is in my opinion the qualitative aspects and the applications of ODE. I really enjoyed the wonderful, stimulating video-lectures of the sage prof. A. Mattuck. The younger members of the team, which had the task to present specific techniques (not to an audience but to a camera-which makes the task harder) were clear, smooth and illuminating. Being a teacher myself, I know how much hard work is behind a smooth and clear presentatio... An excellent course from every aspect. The material was stimulating, nicely paced, focused more on the qualitative aspects of ODE (ordinary differential equations) not neglecting, though, the procedural part (methods, techniques of solution) and some theoretical background supporting these methods. I had taken a “dry” course on ODE some thirty years ago. “Dry” in the sense that it offered only methods and techniques of solution for a large variety of ODE, leaving out the most valuable part, which is in my opinion the qualitative aspects and the applications of ODE. I really enjoyed the wonderful, stimulating video-lectures of the sage prof. A. Mattuck. The younger members of the team, which had the task to present specific techniques (not to an audience but to a camera-which makes the task harder) were clear, smooth and illuminating. Being a teacher myself, I know how much hard work is behind a smooth and clear presentation. The fact that sometimes the younger members of the staff seemed to be a little tensed in some presentations, is just what it makes the teaching a deeply humane activity.
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student profile image
student profile image

student

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
Well prepared course for those who want to refresh their knowledge from math and to learn how can differential equations be applied in real life. It is maybe introductary level but you should be really into this one. Also you will be delighted with proffesor Mattuck Arthur in videos and people behind this course are remarkable. Maybe more software should be used like MATLAB
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Simon Horovitz profile image
Simon Horovitz profile image

Simon Horovitz

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
A really good course. Good instructors , good problems, and good explanations of the solutions to the problems. Professor Arthur Mattuck is amazing and pretty funny too sometimes. Some of the other instructors are a little tense in their videos, which can be a little annoying, but they always go through the solutions thoroughly. A piece of advice: always read their solutions, even if you solved the problem, because oftentimes you learn some trick that make things easier, or some interpretation of the answer that you didn't think of before. It is a tough course, however, so make sure you have time to study. It is not a course that you can work on just 15 minutes a day or now and then on the weekends. Take notes, just like in any other class, otherwise you'll have a hard time. If you do have time, take it. It is awesome.
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Tian Jiting profile image
Tian Jiting profile image

Tian Jiting

9/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
This is a wonderful introductory course for differential equations (mainly ODEs). It covers the core knowledge of ODEs and the materials are organized in a friendly-for-students way. A powerful mathematical software is used to help students understand ODEs visually and dynamically. There is a number of useful exercises and homework, and I have spent a lot of time on them. I think they are worthwhile.
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Antonio Bermejo Jiménez profile image
Antonio Bermejo Jiménez profile image

Antonio Bermejo Jiménez

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
Como todos los cursos del MIT que he realizado este tampoco me ha decepcionado; al contrario, ha sido un curso muy completo para volver a recordar las ecuaciones diferenciales y avanzar más allá de lo que conocía de ellas. Por favor, seguid con la calidad demostrada en este y otros cursos del MIT. Muchas gracias.
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Zaz Brown profile image
Zaz Brown profile image

Zaz Brown

9/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
Be prepared for a tough class. You'll have to put in a lot of hours and a lot of it is not very interesting. You'll learn a lot though.
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Kostiantyn Wandalen profile image
Kostiantyn Wandalen profile image

Kostiantyn Wandalen

9/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
This valuable online course explains toughest topics in math quite well. It offers lots of practice what is good. The whole course is practice-based. Several problems from the course require making exhausting routine calculation producing long-long equation. MIT's online course uses teaching approach which is much closer to traditional teaching approach than Boston University's online course. Among drawbacks, MIT course often uses the help of postgraduates, which in fact don't have developed empathy so don't feel students and produce poor video lectures. Most lectures in the course are good. MIT course has visuals as well as Boston University's course what makes both able to extend intelligence of a participant. If you didn't take Paul Blanchard's course, I recommend you to start from his work, it's truly virtuosic and gives clearer understanding of the subject. Consider taking MIT course after. Both courses are definitely worth tak... This valuable online course explains toughest topics in math quite well. It offers lots of practice what is good. The whole course is practice-based. Several problems from the course require making exhausting routine calculation producing long-long equation. MIT's online course uses teaching approach which is much closer to traditional teaching approach than Boston University's online course. Among drawbacks, MIT course often uses the help of postgraduates, which in fact don't have developed empathy so don't feel students and produce poor video lectures. Most lectures in the course are good. MIT course has visuals as well as Boston University's course what makes both able to extend intelligence of a participant. If you didn't take Paul Blanchard's course, I recommend you to start from his work, it's truly virtuosic and gives clearer understanding of the subject. Consider taking MIT course after. Both courses are definitely worth taking.
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Max Hartman profile image
Max Hartman profile image

Max Hartman

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
If You do not like math but want it then You must take the Course. I completed this great Course and still don't like math, but will take all the rest parts to feel it better. Anyway I'm sure You will enjoy every second of Prof. Mattuck's lectures. It is great chance to get high quality material.
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John Duffy profile image
John Duffy profile image

John Duffy

8/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
I needed to work at this class for 6 days a week. Very challenging. It is also only part of the MIT class.
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Thomas Borgese profile image
Thomas Borgese profile image

Thomas Borgese

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
Very good course! Prof. Mattuck's lectures explained the material well and were engaging. The problems were difficult, but they really helped me grasp the concepts taught. The mathlets were also very helpful. Thanks so much for creating this awesome course!
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Bruce Lyu profile image
Bruce Lyu profile image

Bruce Lyu

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
Excellent course! I just knew a little about ODEs before taking 18.031x but after finishing the final exam, I am filled with math! All kinds of amazing tricks and smart methods to deal with ODEs and the convenience of complex replacement method is astonishing! Instructors and TAs are very helpful. They always can help me with the problems within one day. And the discussion forum is a great place to meet new friends!
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Gert de Kok profile image
Gert de Kok profile image

Gert de Kok

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
I really enjoyed the course enormously and was always looking forward to the new units becoming available. I felt that I knew quite a bit about DE's (based on memory from University) but still learned quite a few new ways of tackling DE's. Unfortunately, there were quite a few typos and inconsistencies in notation. for an EdX course. In addition, a substantial number of problems lacked careful and clear sentence structure creating ambiguity. I especially enjoyed Professor Mattuck's lectures which were clear and concise. The discussion platform, the mathlet, TAs were very helpful in gaining a better understanding.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 0 reviews
  • 0 completed
1 year, 7 months ago
Excellent contents and course material. The sequence of presenting the material makes it so easy to understand the hard but logical concepts. Professor Mattuck's lectures are brilliant, thought provoking, easy to understand. The plat form, the mathlet, TAs are just perfect. Thank you so much for creating such a great online course.
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Harish Ramakrishnan profile image
Harish Ramakrishnan profile image

Harish Ramakrishnan

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
Excellent course. Sincere thanks to MIT, edx and team for providing such high quality math courses.The course requires a very basic knowledge on calculus and professor does a great job in explaining the concepts in a simple way. The course is also structured beautifully to give one sufficient time to work on homeworks. As always it had a lively discussion forum (thanks to TAs and other students for doing a great job). Looking forward to other courses of this series from MIT.
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Allan Lindh profile image
Allan Lindh profile image

Allan Lindh

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
It is 55 years since I have taken a real math course. Started on this one assuming I wouldn't be able to cut it, but eventually finished with a solid C. Enjoyed it enormously, learned a great deal about DE, with which I previously only a passing acquaintance, filled a real hole in my math education. The interactive format was a great help to studying on my own, clearly better than trying to work through a standard text, or working through OCW 18-03sc Differential Equations, from which this course was clearly derived. My only slight criticism is that the translation from 18-03sc may have been done a little too haphazardly, with an unusual number of typos for an EdX course. And many of the problems, which form the core of the course, were lacking in places in careful and clear sentence structure. And many problems made assumptions about what "ought to be clear" that may be appropriate for a classroom at MIT, but for a diverse wor... It is 55 years since I have taken a real math course. Started on this one assuming I wouldn't be able to cut it, but eventually finished with a solid C. Enjoyed it enormously, learned a great deal about DE, with which I previously only a passing acquaintance, filled a real hole in my math education. The interactive format was a great help to studying on my own, clearly better than trying to work through a standard text, or working through OCW 18-03sc Differential Equations, from which this course was clearly derived. My only slight criticism is that the translation from 18-03sc may have been done a little too haphazardly, with an unusual number of typos for an EdX course. And many of the problems, which form the core of the course, were lacking in places in careful and clear sentence structure. And many problems made assumptions about what "ought to be clear" that may be appropriate for a classroom at MIT, but for a diverse world-wide audience left some students -- me included -- frustrated that the trouble was not taken to clearly state what the assumptions were of the person writing the problem. My favorite was when a student expressed exasperation about the ambiguity, and was told "try to imagine what the person writing the problem was trying to get at, and see if that helps you figure out what he/she was trying to say." I would strongly suggest that future translations of MIT/OCW courses employ a mathematically savvy human being to proof the text, and point out the ambiguities before the course goes online. But these are minor quibbles, for it is a marvelous course, and I sincerely hope you bring the rest of 18-03sc over to EdX, maybe even while I'm still alive.
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Antoine Leclair profile image
Antoine Leclair profile image

Antoine Leclair

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
Very nice course. It's one part of 18.03 taught at MIT. The rest of the course is available on MIT OpenCourseWare website. The pace was good. One of the good MOOCs I've taken.
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Richard Reddy profile image
Richard Reddy profile image

Richard Reddy

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 7 months ago
This course is rich in content, and well-worth the considerable effort required. Math and physics are not armchair subjects, but it's clear MIT faculty and staff have also been working pretty hard for past four months to deliver an exceptional presentation differential equations. It is an elegant, thoughtful, and useful course, providing a high level of mathematical literacy.
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k Rahul Dinkar profile image
k Rahul Dinkar profile image

k Rahul Dinkar

8/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 9 months ago
Till now it's very engaging, discussion forums are hyperactive which adds on to the super content, sir Mattuck shines through his each lectures interposed with his sharp witted puns.
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Norah H profile image
Norah H profile image

Norah H

10/10 starsTaking Now
1 year, 10 months ago
This course is challenging and well-paced,definitely MIT-quality. The workload is about 10 hours/week.
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