18.303 | Fall 2006 | Undergraduate

Linear Partial Differential Equations


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


Differential Equations (18.03 or 18.034). Complex Variables with Applications (18.04) or Functions of a Complex Variable (18.112) are useful, as well as previous acquaintance with the equations as they arise in scientific applications.


Either one of the following textbooks will do.

Guenther, R. B., and J. W. Lee. Partial Differential Equations of Mathematical Physics and Integral Equations. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1996. ISBN: 0486688895.

Myint-U, Tyn, and Lokenath Debnath. Linear Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Birkhauser, 2006. ISBN: 0817643931.

Assignments and Exams

There will be 6 problem sets given throughout the term. There will be two in-class tests and a final exam.


Assignments 20%
In-class Tests (2 tests each worth 20%) 40%
Final Exam 40%


I. The Heat Equation in One Space Variable

  • Separation of Variables, Fourier Series, Sturm-Liouville Eigenvalue Problems

II. The Wave Equation in One Space Variable

  • Method of Characteristics

III. Method of Characteristics Solution to Quasilinear PDEs

IV. The Heat and Wave Equations with Two or Three Space Variables

  • Bessel Functions, Laplace’s Equation

V. The Heat Equation and Laplace’s Equation on Unbounded Spacial Domains

  • Fourier Transform

VI. Green’s Function Method for Solving ODEs, PDEs

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2006
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets with Solutions
Exams with Solutions
Lecture Notes