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Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

MA250-10 Partial Differential Equations

Department
Warwick Mathematics Institute
Level
Undergraduate Level 2
Module leader
David Wood
Credit value
10
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
Multiple
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The theory of partial differential equations (PDE) is important both in pure and applied mathematics. On the one hand they are used to mathematically formulate many phenomena from the natural sciences (electromagnetism, Maxwell's equations) or social sciences (financial markets, Black-Scholes model). On the other hand since the pioneering work on surfaces and manifolds by Gauss and Riemann partial differential equations have been at the centre of many important developments on other areas of mathematics (geometry, Poincare-conjecture).

Module web page

Module aims

To introduce the basic phenomenology of partial differential equations and their solutions. To construct solutions using classical methods.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Subject of the module are four significant partial differential equations (PDEs) which feature as basic components in many applications:
The transport equation, the wave equation, the heat equation, and the Laplace equation. We will discuss the qualitative behaviour of solutions and, thus, be able to classify the most important partial differential equations into elliptic, parabolic, and hyperbolic type. Possible initial and boundary conditions and their impact on the solutions will be investigated. Solution techniques comprise the method of characteristics, Green's functions, and Fourier series.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • At the end, you will be familiar with the notion of well-posed PDE problems and have an idea what kind of initial or boundary conditions may be imposed for this purpose.
  • You will have studied some techniques which enable you to solve some simple PDE problems.
  • You will also understand that properties of solutions to PDEs sensitively depend on the type.
Indicative reading list

A script based on the lecturer's notes will be provided. For further reading you may find the following books useful (sections of relevance will be pointed out in the script or in the lectures):
S Salsa: Partial differential equations in action, from modelling to theory. Springer (2008).
A Tveito and R Winther: Introduction to partial differential equations, a computational approach. Springer TAM 29 (2005).
W Strauss: Partial differential equations, an introduction. John Wiley (1992).
JD Logan: Applied partial differential equations. 2nd edt. Springer (2004).
MP Coleman: An introduction to partial differential equations with MATLAB. Chapman and Hall (2005).
M Renardy and RC Rogers: An introduction to partial differential equations, Springer TAM 13 (2004).
LC Evans: Partial differential equations. 2nd edt. American Mathematical Society GMS 19 (2010).

Subject specific skills

At the end, students will be familiar with the notion of well-posed PDE problems and have an idea what kind of initial or boundary conditions may be imposed for this purpose. Students will have studied some techniques which enable you to solve some simple PDE problems. They will also understand that properties of solutions to PDEs sensitively depend on the type.

Transferable skills

The module provides technical competence in solving basic partial differential equations that feature at least as building blocks in applications. There are aspects of critical thinking and creativity related to analysing and solving PDE problems.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 20 sessions of 1 hour (20%)
Tutorials 9 sessions of 1 hour (9%)
Private study 71 hours (71%)
Total 100 hours
Private study description

Review lectured material and work on set exercises.

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group D
Weighting Study time
Assessed work 15%
Online Examination 85%
  • Answerbook Pink (12 page)
Assessment group R
Weighting Study time
In-person Examination - Resit 100%
  • Answerbook Pink (12 page)
Feedback on assessment

Exam and assessed work feedback.

Past exam papers for MA250

Courses

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 3 of UMAA-G100 Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc)
  • Year 2 of UMAA-G103 Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath)