Differential Equations in Action

About This Course

In this course, you'll hone your problem-solving skills through learning to find numerical solutions to systems of differential equations. You'll write code in Python to fight forest fires, rescue the Apollo 13 astronauts, stop the spread of epidemics, and resolve other real-world dilemmas.

Why Take This?

By the end of this course, you'll develop an intuition for the use of differential equations in the applied sciences. You'll also learn how to build mathematical models for systems of differential equations using a variety of techniques. Along the way, you'll learn how to translate mathematical expressions into Python code and solve some really cool problems!

Prerequisites and Requirements

You'll need a basic knowledge of programming in Python for this course, around the level of Intro to Computer Science. An understanding of Python packages, as discussed in Programming Foundations with Python, will also be helpful.

In addition, you'll need to feel comfortable with trigonometry at the high school level, as well as basic vector algebra. This class will primarily involve solving differential equations numerically rather than analytically, but some exposure to calculus and physics at the level of Intro to Physics wouldn't hurt.

Most of all, bring with you a love of learning and problem solving!

Write Python code to find numerical solutions to systems of differential equations. The models you create will fight wildfires, bring spaceships back to earth, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

### When does the course begin? This class is self paced. You can begin whenever you like and then follow your own pace. It’s a good idea to set goals for yourself to make sure you stick with the course. ### How long will the course be available? This class will always be available! ### How do I know if this course is for me? Take a look at the “Class Summary,” “What Should I Know,” and “What Will I Learn” sections above. If you want to know more, just enroll in the course and start exploring. ### Can I skip individual videos? What about entire lessons? Yes! The point is for you to learn what YOU need (or want) to learn. If you already know something, feel free to skip ahead. If you ever find that you’re confused, you can always go back and watch something that you skipped. ### How much does this cost? It’s completely free! If you’re feeling generous, we would love to have you contribute your thoughts, questions, and answers to the course discussion forum. ### What are the rules on collaboration? Collaboration is a great way to learn. You should do it! The key is to use collaboration as a way to enhance learning, not as a way of sharing answers without understanding them. ### Why are there so many questions? Udacity classes are a little different from traditional courses. We intersperse our video segments with interactive questions. There are many reasons for including these questions: to get you thinking, to check your understanding, for fun, etc... But really, they are there to help you learn. They are NOT there to evaluate your intelligence, so try not to let them stress you out. ### What should I do while I’m watching the videos? Learn actively! You will retain more of what you learn if you take notes, draw diagrams, make notecards, and actively try to make sense of the material.