Department of Mathematics

Van Vleck Hall, 480 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI

Math 320: Linear Algebra and Differential Equations

Student Body: 

Students in the Sciences and Engineering

Background and Goals: 

Differential equations are the fundamental tools that modern science and engineering use to model physical reality. The importance of differential equations to these disciplines cannot be overemphasized. A distinct subject in its own right, linear algebra is a part of mathematics concerned with the structure inherent in mathematical systems. We shall study these subjects together for three reasons: (1) The viewpoint of linear algebra is immensely helpful in uncovering the order underlying the topic of differential equations; it helps us understand the ``why'' and not just the ``how'' of our calculations. (2) Linear algebra is essential to the theory of differential equations. And (3) linear algebra is crucial to the computer approximations which are often the only way to solve the most challenging differential equations.


For a more thorough study of linear algebra and differential equations the student should choose Math 340 and Math 319

Subsequent Courses: 

some 4XX and 5XX level math courses

Course Content: 
  • First-Order ODEs
  • Mathematical Modeling and Numerical Methods
  • Linear Systems and Matrices
  • Vector Spaces
  • Higher-Order Linear ODEs
  • Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
  • Linear Systems of ODEs
  • Matrix Exponential Methods (to solve non-homogeneous systems)
  • Nonlinear Systems
3. (N-A)
MATH 222 or 276 or graduate or professional standing

UW-Madison Department of Mathematics
Van Vleck Hall
480 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI  53706

(608) 263-3054

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