MTH2032 - Differential equations with modelling - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Mathematical Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Jerome Droniou


Associate Professor Jerome Droniou

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


MTH1030 or MTH1035


MTH2010 or MTH2015




This unit introduces mathematical techniques for differential equations. These equations appear in a number of physical models, such as oscillations, heat conduction and transport equations. Methods to study ordinary differential equations include separation of variables, substituting methods, variation of parameters, series solutions and numerical techniques (Euler, Heun's method). Partial differential equations describing physical models are derived, and analysed through Fourier series, separation of variables and characteristics techniques.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe various classes of ordinary and partial differential equations and the physical systems to which they apply;
  2. Identify the differential equations that describe various physical processes including those for simple harmonic motion, diffusion, wave propagation and mass transport;
  3. Describe the essential mathematical properties of these differential equations;
  4. Construct solutions of differential equations using analytic and computational methods;
  5. Appreciate the role that differential equations and their solutions play in the scientific process, in particular their use as a tool to model physical systems and allow predictions to be made and tested.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

End of semester examination (2 hours): 60%

Continuous assessment: 40% (Hurdle)

Hurdle requirement: To pass this unit a student must achieve at least 50% overall and at least 40% for both the end-of-semester examination and continuous assessment components.

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour workshop per week

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study