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    Introduction to the theory of partial differential equations by discussing the main examples (Laplace equation, heat equation, wave equation and transport equations) and their applications.

    Differential equations are a fundamental mathematical tool for the study of systems that change over time and are used in most areas of science, engineering and mathematics.

    About this paper

    Paper title Partial Differential Equations
    Subject Mathematics
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    MATH 203
    Recommended Preparation
    COMO 204
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Science
    This paper is particularly relevant for students majoring in Mathematics, Statistics, Zoology, Economics, Design or any other field in which the natural world is being modelled by differential equations.

    For more information, contact MATH and COMO200-300 Level Advisor Jörg Hennig at

    Teaching staff

    Dr Florian Beyer

    Paper Structure
    Main topics:
    • The transport equation (initial value problem, characteristics)
    • The Poisson equation (harmonic functions, mean value theorem for harmonic functions, maximum principle, Green's function, boundary value problem)
    • The wave equation (d'Alembert formula, energy methods, domain of dependence, finite propagation speed, Initial boundary value problem)
    • Non-linear first order PDE (characteristics, conservation laws, shocks)
    Teaching Arrangements
    Five lectures a fortnight
    One tutorial per week.
    Lecture Notes: Lecture notes will be made available chapter-by-chapter during the semester on the resource webpage. These lecture notes are the main reference for this paper.

    Book: Partial differential equations/Lawrence C. Evans (on reserve in the library).
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Critical thinking.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the central concepts and theories.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
    Friday 10:00-10:50 10, 12, 16, 18, 20, 22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 9-13, 15-22
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