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Elementary Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems with IDE CD Package

1 rating: 3.0
A book by Werner E. Kohler

Elementary Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems integrates the underlying theory, the solution procedures, and the numerical/computational aspects of differential equations in a seamless way. For example, whenever a new type of problem … see full wiki

Author: Werner E. Kohler
Genre: Science
Publisher: Addison Wesley
1 review about Elementary Differential Equations with Boundary...

Suitable for a two-semester course, overkill for a one-semester course

  • Dec 26, 2006
As a teacher at a small college, at some point I will be required to teach just about every class in the math and computer science curriculum. Therefore, I examined this book for possible adoption as a text in our differential equations course and found it to be appropriate in many ways.
In my opinion, differential equations is a retro course as far as proofs are concerned Meaning that although it is an upper division math course, proofs are best when they are few and far between. That was the strategy taken in this book. Each section opens with a discussion of the new solution strategy, followed by some examples of how it is applied, additional explanation if warranted and then a set of exercises. Solutions to the odd-numbered exercises are included at the end.
The quality of the explanations is quite good; the student who has done well in their three-semester calculus sequence will have little difficulty understanding it. However, the coverage is significantly beyond what I consider to be the necessary material for an introductory course in differential equations. The chapter titles are:

*) Introduction to differential equations
*) First order differential equations
*) Second and higher order linear differential equations
*) First order linear systems
*) Laplace transforms
*) Nonlinear systems
*) Numerical methods
*) Series solutions of linear differential equations
*) Second order partial differential equations and Fourier series
*) First order partial differential equations and the method of characteristics
*) Linear two-point boundary value problems

The last three chapters are the material that I consider beyond what I would cover in a first course in differential equations. Although I readily concede that this book would be well suited for a two-semester course in differential equations.
I don't know when I will teach differential equations again. When I do, this book will not be on my list of possible textbooks. However, the companion volume without the last three chapters is right now at the top of my list of candidates.

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