Math 240 - Fall 2019

Instructor: Ted Chinburg

LecturesTTh 9-10:30 am, room A8 in DRL labs

Office: DRL 4E4, Ext. 8-8340.
Office hours: Tuesdays 2:00 - 3:00 and via Skype

Teaching Assistant: Flora Feng

Office: 3W8.
Office hours: Wednesdays 4-5 pm and Fridays 2:30-3:30 pm

Math. Dept. Office: DRL 4W1, Ext. 8-8178.

Math. Dept. Undergraduate Program Information

Announcements as of 8/19/19

Current homework and lecture schedule


  • Homework assignment 1 (to be turned in during recitation on Sept. 16 or 18 or at the end of lecture on Sept. 19. )
  • Homework assignment 2 (to be turned in to Flora's mailbox by noon on October 21. )
  • Homework assignment 3 (to be turned in to Flora's mailbox by noon on Nov. 8. )
  • Homework assignment 4 (to be turned in to Flora's mailbox by noon on Nov. 25. )
  • Homework assignment 5 (Due at the final exam. )

    Course Guide

    Course Goals:

    This course is about linear algebra and systems of differential equations. The linear algebra part of the course begins with matrices and solving linear equations and then has to do with vector spaces in general and linear transformations between them. The topics in differential equations include higher order single variable equations and systems of linear ordinary differential equations. The goal is to enable everyone taking the course to use these tools accurately, efficiently and flexibly. The engineering section of math 240 will emphasize current applications of the theory to communication, optimization, and modeling the behavior of complicated systems.


    1. Differential Equations and Linear Algebra by Stephen W. Goode and Scott A. Annin, fourth edition.


    In the first part of the course we will discuss linear algebra, as presented in chapters 2 through 7 of the text.

    The part of the course will be about higher order ordinary differential equations, as discussed in chapter 8 of the text.

    The third part of the course will be about systems of differential equations, as discussed in chapter 9 of the course.

    Throughout the semester we will discuss applications of these ideas. As time permits we will pursue some more applications at the end of the term.

    How to make attending lectures efficient:

    Before each lecture, check the current lecture schedule, and read the appropriate parts of the text. After each lecture, you should review your lecture notes, reread the corresponding sections of the book and try to solve the related problems from the Core homework problem list.

    Homework and Quizzes:

    Working through the homework problems on the Core homework problem list is essential to understanding the material in the course. We will not be collecting answers to core homework problems, however. Instead, the core problems will be discussed in recitation each week, and at the end of each recitation there will be a 10 minute quiz consisting of one or two problems of a very similar nature. If you understand how to do the week's core homework problems by the time of the quiz, you should have no difficult with the quiz. Periodically there will be homework assignments to turn in which have more challenging problems that are not from the text and which illustrate applications.


    There will two mid-term exams in the course. The first will be on Thursday, Oct 3. The second will be on Thursday, Nov. 7.
    The final exam is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 16, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m..

    Getting help:

    You are very welcome to arrange a time to meet with me either in math department or online.

    Approximate Grading Weights:

  • 20% -- Quizzes
  • 10% -- Homework not from the core problems.
  • 15% -- Midterm exam Oct. 3.
  • 15% - Midterm exam Nov. 7.
  • 40% -- Final exam

    Last updated: 1125/19
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