Many physical phenomena are governed by differential equations. For
example, the rotation of the solar planets around the sun can be
accurately described by a set of time-dependent differential
equations. Linear algebra provides the basic tools necessary to
solve these differential equations (most commonly) on a computer.
This information document covers the following subjects: enrollment, how to contact the staff, prerequisites, textbook,
handouts and announcements, course work and
grading and exam dates,
sample tests, and academic integrity.
Enrollment is entirely done online. So if you are waitlisted, check
online often to see if you can enroll. If you have questions about
enrollment, please immediately contact Thomas Brown of the Math Department at
Prof. Ming Gu
Office: Evans 861
Office Hours: MWF 1:30-3:00PM or by appointment.
1A and 1B or equivalent. It is important to note that
calculus courses at most institutions either have no
differential equations, or less than Berkeley's Math
1B. Transfer students who have taken such a course need to
learn on their own that differential equations material from
Our textbook is
Handouts and Announcements
There will be no handouts to be distributed in the class. All material
is posted on the class home
page at http://www.math.berkeley.edu/~mgu/MA54H.
Announcements will be made through the class website, bspace, or email.
Course Work and Grading
There are a total of 100 points you can earn toward your final grade in the course. There will be two midterm exams. The better of the two is worth 25 points and the worse 15 points. The final exam is worth 30 points. All exams will be graded by the GSI and myself. In addition to exams, there will be up to 13 homeworks and 12 quizzes. Only the best 10 homeworks and best 10 quizzes will be counted towards the final grade, with each homework and quiz worth 1.5 points.
Homework is in general due on Friday during discussion, except the week of Nov. 25, when it is due on the following Monday (Dec. 2.) The homework is a written assignment to be done individually, although group discussion is allowed. Quizzes are on the days homework is due, to be given at the begining of discussion sections for 15 minutes. But there will be no quiz on Nov. 29 or Dec. 2. Note that this means there will be homeworks and quizzes in the midterm exam weeks as well. We will have a review and provide a sample test before each exam.
Since the GSI is limited in his work hours, he will only grade ONE problem of his choice in each homework. In addition, he will make most quiz problems to be similar to the problems in homework that is due on the day of the quiz. Doing all the homework problems is worth 1 point; and doing the graded problem correctly is worth additional 0.5 point.
Your final letter grade will be determined based on your own performance. Below is a break-down of grade range
We will give no credit for homework turned in after the due date. The
exams will be cumulative, and there will be no make-up exams or
quizzes. However, you can skip or cancel one of the midterms (but not
both) if you notify the instructor within 48 hours after the test. In
this case, your other midterm and final will be worth 30 points and 40
points, respectively. Grades of Incomplete will be granted only for
dire medical or personal emergencies that cause you to miss the final,
and only if your work up to that point has been satisfactory.
Note that the sample exams only serve to familiarize students with the format
of the actual exams, without any explicit or implicit suggestions as to the scoop.