Math 4263 - Introduction to Partial Differential Equations

Lecture: MWF 1:30pm-2:20pm, MSCS 514.


Jiří Lebl
Office: MSCS 505
Office hours: M 3:30-4:20pm, WF 2:30-3:20pm, and by appointment at other times.
Office phone: (405) 744-7750
Email: lebl at okstate dot edu


Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers, by Stanley J. Farlow, ISBN 048667620X.

Also here are some errata and some random thoughts on Farlow that could be useful in reading the book.

Useful Table of laplace transforms.

A set of notes on Finite Element Method (think of it as a lesson not in the Farlow book).

The lessons from the book we covered in this class (or will still cover) are:
1-13, 15-17, 19-20, 22-28, 30-31, 33, 37, and notes on the finite element method.

Some extra sample problems to try.


The grading scheme is given below:

$\begin{multline} \text{Grade} = 0.2 \times \text{(Homework)} + 0.2 \times \text{(Exam 1)} \\ + 0.2 \times \text{(Exam 2)} + 0.4 \times \text{(Final Exam)} \end{multline}$

To account for bad exam day, etc..., an alternative grade will be computed as follows

$\begin{multline} \text{Grade} = 0.2 \times \text{(Homework)} + 0.1 \times \text{(Exam 1)} \\ + 0.1 \times \text{(Exam 2)} + 0.58 \times \text{(Final Exam)} \end{multline}$

A second alternative (to account for bad final day) will be follows

$\begin{multline} \text{Grade} = 0.2 \times \text{(Homework)} + 0.3 \times \text{(Exam 1)} \\ + 0.3 \times \text{(Exam 2)} + 0.18 \times \text{(Final Exam)} \end{multline}$

The highest of the three will be used for your grade. Notice that in the alterative schemes, the score does not sum to 100 percent. That is on purpose! You should count on the first scheme, the second/third schemes are only to account for things going terribly terribly wrong on one of your exams.


Exam 1: Monday, Feb. 27, (in class)

Exam 2: Wednesday, Apr. 5, (in class)

Final Exam: Wednesday, May 10, 2:00-3:50pm (same room as the class), Comprehensive, think of the final exam as half exam 3 and half comprehensive final

Exam Policies: No books, calculators or computers allowed on the exams or the final. One page (one sided) of notes allowed on the exams.


Assigned weekly (some weeks may be skipped). Homework will be done using WeBWorK. See:
You have been sent instruction on how to log in by email.

Lowest 2 homework grades dropped (so no late homeworks).

The last homework (which does not need to be turned in):

Lesson 37, page 307: Problems 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Finite element method notes above: Exercises 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Missed Work:

No makeup or late homework (two lowest are dropped anyhow), but feel free to turn homework in early if you you cannot for whatever reason turn it in on time. For exams, there will be reasonable accommodation if you have a valid and documented reason, and the documentation is provided in advance unless absolutely impossible. If you have a university approved (see the syllabus attachment) final conflict exam, you must tell me at least two weeks befre the final exam week, so so that we can figure out what to do.

Syllabus attachment:

See the official syllabus attachment, for some more information.

Interesting links:

Wolfram Alpha ( It's like Google for math.

Speaking of Google: try typing something like x^2-y^2.

Although no, Google will not likely solve your homework problems for you. Even if it did, it would not be a good idea. The reason for doing the homework is to learn how to do it. If you simply try to find solutions online, and do manage to find them, you will not learn anything and you will see the result of this on the exams. Also it is considered cheating (and plagiarism) to find solutions online and claim them as yours. Don't do it!

It never hurts to learn how to use LaTeX if you want to type up stuff with lots of math. It not only increases legibility of your work, it also increases your nerd factor by an order of magnitude (that's a good thing). For easy to use LaTeX frontends try TeXworks (Linux, Windows, Mac) or TeXShop (Mac). Or perhaps give LyX (Linux, Windows, Mac) a go. Lyx might be the easiest of the bunch, though it is not as flexible.

The easiest way to type LaTeX without installing anything is online on Overleaf.

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