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21-260: Differential Equations

Course Description


Instructor and TA's

Course Schedule and Homework

Grading Information

Other Course Policies

Frequently Asked Questions


The course will have three mid-term exams and a final exam. The mid-term exams will be given on

Exam #1: Monday 22 September
Exam #2: Monday 20 October Wednesday 22 October
Exam #3: Monday 17 November

Tests will be closed book and calculators will not be allowed. Makeups will not be given. In case of documented illness or family emergency or documented University sponsored trips, you will be assigned a grade for the missing test based on an appropriate section of the final exam (that is, the appropriate questions on the final exam will count both toward the final exam score and as a replacement score for the missing test).

The final exam has not yet been scheduled. It may take place as late as December 16. If you must make travel plans before the exam schedule is released, you should not schedule your departure before the morning of December 17. No student will be allowed to take the final exam early.


Homework will normally be assigned weekly, and turned in at the start of class on Wednesdays. Homework turned in after class begins will be regarded as late. If you will be late to class, make arrangements to have your homework there before class begins.

Late homework assignments will be accepted, up until the recitation following the original due date. (In most cases this will be six days.) The first late homework will be given full credit. Thereafter, the late assignments will be penalized. The second will be given half credit, the third 1/3 credit, and so on.

Homework problems will be grouped according to difficulty. Homework problems marked with a green circle are the easiest problems. They will be worth 2 points and will be graded mostly for completeness. Try them for a warm-up. If you have difficulties with them, you should reread the section and your class notes more carefully.

Problems marked blue square are more difficult, but still straightforward if you keep your wits about you. These problems will be worth 4 points and will form the bulk of most homework sets.

The black diamond problems are the most difficult, and the occasional double diamond problem will present a challenge to even the brightest students in the class. Each will be worth 6 points. Though there will be only a few of these problems, they will foster a thorough mastery of the course material.

Grade Computation

The final grade for the course will be determined by your performance on the homework and quizzes, the three midterm exams, and the final exam according to the following algorithm:
Homework        15%
Midterms        60%
Final exam      25%

Letter Grades

The general scheme for assigning letter grades will be:

A: > 85, B: 75-84, C: 65-74, D: 50-64, R: < 49

Adjustments (up or down) to this default scheme will be made for assignments throughout the semester.