Differential Equations Honors
MTH 256H - Sec 001

MWF 1:00-1:50PM

W 12:00-12:50PM
Spring 2018


Dr. Nathan Louis Gibson  


Kidd 056

Office Hours:

WF 2-2:50

Course Website:   


Text Book:

Elementary Differential Equations by William F. Trench (Free!)
(Some solutions are available here.)

General Info

Catalog Description: First order linear and nonlinear equations, and second order linear equations, applications to populations, electric circuits and mechanical oscillators, introduction to the Laplace transform and higher order equations, and solution methods and applications appropriate for science and engineering.
Credits: 4

MTH 256 Measurable Student Learning Outcomes: A successful student in MTH 256 will be able to:

  • Identify and solve first order differential equations that are separable, exact, or linear.
  • Construct and analyze models for physical systems (such as for mixing, cooling, radioactive decay) that can be described by first order linear or nonlinear differential equations. Also, be able to solve nonlinear autonomous second order differential equations and apply these methods to some physical problems.
  • Describe the basic structure of the solution space for linear differential equations (principally of second order) and be able to use this structure to solve such equations.
  • Construct and analyze models for physical systems (such as for small mechanical vibrations and electric circuits) that can be described by second order linear differential equations.
  • Use Laplace transforms to solve initial value problems.
While it may not be stated explicitly each day, students are expected to read each section to be covered before class. Students are responsible for any material missed due to absence. Questions not addressed during class time should be asked in recitation. Any questions still unanswered may be asked in office hours. Students should also take full advantage of the tutoring services provided in the
MLC (Kidder 108).

Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at http://ds.oregonstate.edu. DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.

Students are expected to be familiar with Oregon State University's Statement of Expectations for Student Conduct.

Course Drop/Add Information: See Office of the Registrar and Academic Calendars

As preparation for this class, you should review the materials covered in MTH 254.


Grade Distribution

Homework 200 Points
Midterms 200 Points
Final 200 Points
Total 600 Points

Grade Scale (by percentage)

A 93
A- 90
B+ 87
B 83
B- 80
C+ 77
C 73
C- 70
D+ 67
D 63
D- 60


WeBWorK will be used for homework for this class

The suggested problems below are your opportunity to practice what you have learned and to determine which areas you need to work on more before taking an online assignment or exam. You are encouraged to study, and work on suggested problems, in small groups. Exam problems will be similar to suggested problems.

To be posted as we go.

1.2: 1, 5.

1.3: 4, 6, 9.

2.1: 2, 4, 6, 10, 24, 31.

2.2: 3, 11, 19, 28.

2.3: 2, 6, 16 .

2.5: 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 16, 22, 33, 41.

2.6: 3, 4, 6, 8, 13.

4.1: 11, 17.

4.2: 8, 9, 11, 14.

4.3: 18.

5.1: 5abcd.

5.2: 1, 4, 8, 10, 14, 15.

5.4: 1, 7.

5.5: 1, 2, 3, 7.

5.6: 3.

5.7: 1, 3, 5, 7, 22.

Computer Examples



Article about first order linear models

Study Guide

Sample Midterm I Problems

Final Review

Laplace Table


There will be one 50 minute in-class midterm exam and a cummulative final exam. No notes nor books are allowed; however, you may use a basic scientific calculator and a 3 by 5 inch index card with handwritten notes on both sides (two for the final). No make-up midterm exams will given after the scheduled time under any circumstances. Scheduling conflicts with the final exam must be resolved in advance (see AR 16). Note that the times and dates of all final exams are set by the Registrar's Office and are available online as part of the General Catalog and Schedule of Classes.

Last updated: Tue Apr 17 14:08:16 PDT 2018