MAT 351 University of Toronto 201718
MAT 351 Partial Differential Equations 201718
Almut Burchard, Instructor
How to reach me: Almut Burchard,
BA 6234, 83318.
 almut @ math.toronto.edu ,
www.math.utoronto.ca/almut/
 Lectures MWF 11:1012noon, RW 142
 Tutorials F 10:1011am, RW 142
 Office hours W 5:306:30
Teaching assistant: Afroditi Talidou,
atalidou @ math.toronto.edu
Content: This is a first course in Partial
Differential Equations, intended for Mathematics students with interests
in analysis, mathematical physics, geometry, and optimization.
The examples to be discussed include firstorder equations,
harmonic functions, the diffusion equation, the wave equation,
Schrodinger's equation, and eigenvalue problems. In addition
to the classical representation formulas for the solutions
of these equations, there are techniques that apply more
broadly: the notion of wellposedness, the method of
characteristics, energy methods, maximum and comparison principles,
fundamental solutions, Green's functions, Duhamel's principle,
Fourier series, the minmax characterization of eigenvalues,
Bessel functions, spherical harmonics, and distributions.
Nonlinear phenomena such as shock waves and solitary waves are also introduced.
Text:
"Partial Differential Equations: An Introduction",
by Walter Strauss.
Second edition, Wiley 2008. ISBN 9780470450567
(*the older edition will do*)

From the author's preface: "This book provides an introduction
to the basic properties of partial differential equations (PDEs) and to the
techniques that have proved useful in analyzing them.
My purpose is to provide for the student a broad
perspective on the subject, to illustrate the rich variety
of phenomena encompassed by it, and to impart a working knowledge of the
most important techniques of analysis of the solutions of the equations."
I will occasionally use other books, including the
graduatelevel textbook by L. Craig Evans,
the classical monograph of Fritz John, and the essay
on spherical harmonics in the book on Special Functions
by Andrews, Askew, and Roy.
Evaluation:
 15% : weekly homework sets
Drop two. Assignments are collected in tutorial.
For each missed Friday, the value of a late assignment is cut in half.
 45% : 3 term tests
(Date TBD in November, January, March; evening).
Closedbook, closednotes.
 40% : Final examination
3 hours, compehensive.
Remarks. I expect that you
participate in lectures and tutorials. Use any occasion to discuss
problems and assignments among yourselves,
with Afroditi, with me, and anyone who is willing; feel free to
also consult other sources (books, wikipedia, ...). But please write up your
assignments in your own words, and be ready to defend them!
Tentative Schedule
First lecture (September 8)
Overview  What is a PDE?
(handout)
Week 1 (September 1115)
Chapter 1  Wellposed problems. Method of characteristics
 M: Deriving a PDE from a conservation law,
using the divergence theorem
 W: The Fundamental Lemma.
Wellposed problems
 F:
First order linear equations. The method of characteristics
Assignment 1 (due September 22)
Week 2 (September 1822)
Section 1.2  Firstorder linear and quasilinear equations
 M: Existence and uniqueness of solutions
of initialvalue problems for ODE
 W: Examples: EulerCauchy PDE for homogeneous functions;
transportation equations.
 F: Burger's equation. The formation of shocks
Assignment 2 (due September 29)
Week 3 (September 2529)
Sections 1.2 and 14.2  Shocks and rarefaction waves
 M: RankineHugoniot jump condition
 W: Nonuniqueness of weak solutions.
Lax' entropy condition
 F: Secondorder linear equations: elliptic, hyerbolic, parabolic.
Assignment 3 (due October 6)
Week 4 (October 26)
Chapter 2  Waves in one spatial dimension
 W: D'Alembert's formula
 M: Physical derivation of the wave equation.
Characteristic coordinates
 F: Energy and causality
Assignment 4
(due October 13)
Week 5 (October 913)
Chapter 2  Heat (diffusion) equation
 M: Thanksgiving Holiday
 W:
Characteristics and characteristic coordinates
for hyperbolic PDE in two variables
 F:
The maximum principle for the heat equation
Assignment 5
(due October 20)
Week 6 (October 1620)
Chapter 2  More about diffusion.
Fundamental solution; boundary conditions
 M: The maximum principle in any dimension
 W: Solution formula for the heat equation
 F: Dissipation of energy.
The method of reflections
Assignment 6
(due October 27)
Week 7 (October 2327)
Chapter 3  Duhamel's principle for inhomogeneous equations
 M: Transport and diffusion
with source terms
 W: Waves with source terms
 F: Separation of variables
Assignment 7
(due November 3)
Week 8 (October 30  November 3)
Chapter 4  Boundaryvalue problems
 M: Eigenvalue problems. The role of boundary conditions
 W: General boundary conditions.
When is the second derivative operator Hermitioan?
 F: Robin boundary conditions
Assignment 8 (due November
17)
Reading week (November 610)
Week 9 (November 1317)
Chapter 5  Fourier series
 M: Hilbert spaces. Inner product and orthogonality
 W: Projection onto finitedimensional subspaces.
Bessel's inequality
 F: Orhonormal bases. Parseval's identity.
handout (no assignment)
Week 10 (November 2024)
Chapter 5  Fourier series, cont'd
 F: First midterm test
(10:1012, inclass).
Old tests: 2009,
2010,
2011,
2016 (onehour).
Week 11 (November 27  December 1)
Chapter 6  Harmonic functions of two variables
Week 12 (December 48)
Chapter 6  Harmonic functions, cont'd
 R: makeup Monday
 F: study break
Fall exams, Christmas break (December 9  January 2)
Week 13 (January 15)
Chapter 7  Harmonic functions in higher dimensions
Week 14 (January 813)
Sections 7.3 and 7.4  Green's function and Poisson kernel
Week 15 (January 1519)
Chapter 9  Waves in higher dimensions
 F: Family day (no class)
Week 16 (January 2226)
Chapter 9  Waves in threedimensional space
Week 17 (January 29  February 2)
Chapter 9  Waves in the plane
Week 18 (February 59)
Chapter 10  Boundaryvalue problems in higher dimensions
Week 19 (February 1216)
Chapter 10  The Dirichlet problem on the ball
Reading week (February 1923)
Week 20 (February 26  March 2)
Chapter 10  Spherical harmonics
Week 21 (March 59)
Chapter 11  Eigenvalues of the Laplacian
Week 22 (March 1216)
Chapter 11  Eigenvalue asymptotics of the Laplacian
Week 23 (March 1923)
Chapter 12  Distributions
Week 24 (March 2630)
Chapter 12  The Fourier transform
 F: Good Friday (no class)
Last lecture (April 2)
Section 14.3  Variational problems
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