MATH 225
Spring 2006
Prof. Ken Alexander

Office:  DRB 250,  (213) 740-3797

Email:          Web Page:

Office hours:  Monday 11-12, 1-2; Wednesday 11-12; or by appointment.  Monday 1-2 is in the Math Center (KAP 116); other office hours are held in my office.

Teaching Assistant:  Haoyuan Liu

Text:  Differential Equations and Linear Algebra (2nd Ed.) by Stephen W. Goode

Homework will be given approximately weekly.  On each assignment a few selected problems will be graded.  It is OK to help each other solve homework problems, but it's not OK to turn in essentially identical solutions--once you have discussed homework problems so that you understand better what to do, you should write the solutions on your own.  Homework will be accepted up to  2 lectures late, with a 20% penalty.  Not accepted more than 2 lectures late.

Quizzes:  There will be two or three quizzes during the term, in discussion session, typically the week before the exam.  (Exact dates to be announced in lecture.)

Exams:  Two midterms plus final.  Tentative midterm dates are Friday February 17 and Wednesday March 29.  Final is Monday May 8, 8:00-10:00 am.  The final is cumulative but with greater emphasis on material after the second midterm.

Final exam information:  The final will be held Monday May 8, 8:00 - 10:00 a.m., in the lecture room (SOS B46).  Closed book, no calculator, but you are allowed one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet (2 sides) of handwritten notes.  An optional review session with Haoyuan will be held Saturday May 6, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. in VKC 101.  An optional SI review session with Nitin will be held Monday May 1, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. in GFS 106.

Missed exams:  There will be no makeup exams.  In exceptional cases, with a written excuse, if you miss an exam I will base your grade on the exams you did take.

Grading:  Homework + quizzes 25%, midterms 20% each, final 35%. No fixed quotas of A’s, B’s etc.  The number of points needed for a particular grade is not fixed in advance--if the exam turns out to be difficult and scores are low, then fewer points are needed for an A, for a B, etc.

Auditing:  If you want to just sit in on the class, you must register for an audit.

Material to be covered:  Parts of Chapter 1; most of Chapters 3-8.  The following schedule is approximate:

   3.1 - 3.7        9 lectures
   4.4, 4.3         3 lectures
   5.1 - 5.7        7 lectures
   6.1, 6.3 - 6.7  6 lectures
   1.2, 1.6          2 lectures
   7.1 - 7.4        5 lectures      
   8.1 - 8.7        7 lectures
   Midterms      2 lectures
   Extra time for topics requiring it:  2 lectures

   TOTAL        43 lectures

Everything in this syllabus is in principle tentative; if necessary it will be adjusted during the semester.
Additional help:  There are TA's in the Math Center Mon. - Fri., 8 am - 6 pm.  Most of them can help you with Math 225.  Also, help is available through Supplemental Instruction (SI)--details later.  The SI leader for this lecture is Nitin Sharma.  More information about SI is here.  Nitin's sessions (which are completely optional) are held as follows:

Tuesdays 12:30 - 2:00 in WPH 204, 4:00 - 5:30 in VKC 108
Fridays 12:00 - 1:00 in GFS 114