Introduction to Differential Equations

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edX online courses
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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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Course Description

Phenomena as diverse as the motion of the planets, the spread of a disease, and the oscillations of a suspension bridge are governed by differential equations.MATH226x is an introduction to the mathematical theory of ordinary differential equations. This course follows a modern dynamical systems approach to the subject. In particular, equations are analyzed using qualitative, numerical, and if possible, symbolic techniques.

MATH226 is essentially the edX equivalent of MA226, a one-semester course in ordinary differential equations taken by more than 500 students per year at Boston University. It is divided into three parts. MATH226.1 is the first of these three parts.

In MATH226.1, we will discuss biological and physical models that can be expressed as differential equations with one or two dependent variables. We will discuss geometric/qualitative and numerical techniques that apply to all differential equations. When pos...

Phenomena as diverse as the motion of the planets, the spread of a disease, and the oscillations of a suspension bridge are governed by differential equations.MATH226x is an introduction to the mathematical theory of ordinary differential equations. This course follows a modern dynamical systems approach to the subject. In particular, equations are analyzed using qualitative, numerical, and if possible, symbolic techniques.

MATH226 is essentially the edX equivalent of MA226, a one-semester course in ordinary differential equations taken by more than 500 students per year at Boston University. It is divided into three parts. MATH226.1 is the first of these three parts.

In MATH226.1, we will discuss biological and physical models that can be expressed as differential equations with one or two dependent variables. We will discuss geometric/qualitative and numerical techniques that apply to all differential equations. When possible, we will study some of the standard symbolic solution techniques such as separation of variables and the use of integrating factors. We will also study the theory of existence and uniqueness of solutions, the phase line and bifurcations for first-order autonomous systems, and the phase plane for two-dimensional autonomous systems. The techniques that we develop will be used to analyze models throughout the course.

For additional information on obtaining credit through the ACE Alternative Credit Project, please visit here.

Reviews 9/10 stars
6 Reviews for Introduction to Differential Equations

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10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 4 months ago
A great course! One of the best I have ever seen. 1. The course progresses systemically from simple to more complex with comprehensive explanations and examples that illustrate the concept being explained. For me the pace is optimal. 2. Perfect combination of theory, conceptual quizzes, examples to be solved by hand and examples to be solved in MATLAB. 3. Professor has a nice sense of humor and adds jokes where suitable. This makes this course not only valuable, but also enjoyable. My sincere gratitude to prof. Paul Blanchard and his team at Boston University! P.S. I have market the course difficulty as "easy" because if you have no problem differentiating and integrating then this course just teaches you new ways of applying these concepts to solve differential equations.
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Alex Carrera

2/10 starsDropped
2 years ago
Such a shame these kind of courses are not offered on a self-paced format. It's really dissapointing.
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Anthony Davis profile image
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Anthony Davis

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 2 months ago
Excellent course! Professor Blanchard is great, the material is engaging, and the support from the instructor team is first-rate. I went into the course wondering about the level of calculus needed to be successful. I did not find this course to be at all challenging calc wise, requiring simple knowledge of rudimentary differentiation and integration. If anything, the most challenging computation wasn't the calculus, but rather some occasional algebra tap dancing. I highly recommend this course!
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Jack Luper profile image
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Jack Luper

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 2 months ago
I took a differential equations years ago and wanted a refresher. This course was perfect. Dr. Blanchard's measured, deliberate style makes it very easy to follow. This was 226.1 but I have already signed up for 226.2. Highly recommended!
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 26 reviews
  • 24 completed
3 years, 2 months ago
Wondering if i bring enough mathematical skills to master this course - I was positively surprised at how extremely pedagogically well this topic was delivered . I thought "that is easy" and then "man i learned a lot" , and then wondered if this shouldn't be a contradiction . But no , this is the footprint of a course which is great at teaching its topic .
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Vishesh Bhat profile image
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Vishesh Bhat

8/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
My prior exposure to Differential Equations had been ad-hoc and patchy. This course put it all in perspective. In tandem with the book by Devaney, Hall and Blanchard, this is a really good course to help set up a good foundation for studying further applications of Ordinary Differential equations. Though the difficulty level is quite easy, it serves well as an introductory course. Recommended.
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