Department of Mathematics Syllabus

This syllabus is advisory only. For details on a particular instructor's syllabus (including books), consult the instructor's course page. For a list of what courses are being taught each quarter, refer to the Courses page.

MAT 118A: Partial Differential Equations
Approved: 2003-03-01, Spitzer & Shkoller

Suggested Textbook: (actual textbook varies by instructor; check your instructor)
“Introduction to Partial Differential Equations, 1st Edition” by Walter Strauss, ($50.00)
Search by ISBN on Amazon: 471548685

Suggested Schedule:





1.1-1.4 & 1.6


Standard examples of PDEs.

Derivation of transport, wave and diffusion equation from simple physical principles.

First order equations: coordinate method and geometric method of characteristics.

Second order equation.

Initial and boundary conditions.



Wave and Diffusion equation on the whole real line

The wave equation: Coordinate method and geometric method.

Causality and energy.

The Maximum Principle for the diffusion equation, Uniqueness and Stability of solutions.

Derivation of the Solution of the diffusion equation.

Comparison of wave and diffusion equation.



Reflections and Sources

Diffusion on the half-line with Dirichlet and Neumann boundary conditions.

Method of reflection.

Method of reflection on a finite interval with outlook to chapter 4.

Inhomogeneous diffusion equation on the whole real line.



Boundary Problems

Wave and diffusion equation on a finite interval with Dirichlet boundary conditions.

Wave and diffusion equation on a finite interval with Neumann and periodic boundary conditions. Sketch discussion on Robin boundary conditions.



Fourier Series

Fourier-sine, Fourier-cosine and full Fourier series, complex and real version.

Orthogonally and Completeness of Fourier series, convergence theorems.

Additional Notes:

Recommendation: Use matlab, mathematica or maple for demonstration in class early on, and frequently. In 118C (se chp 8), it should be required for students to adapt or write some simple codes.