Texas College Mathematics Journal

Volume 6, Number 2, Pages 18─24


Encouraging the integration of complex numbers in undergraduate ordinary differential equations


John Ehrke


2000 MSC: 30-01, 97D40, 34A30.


Key words: complex exponential, linear differential equations.


Abstract: In this article we will demonstrate how introducing students to an alternative to the method of undetermined coefficients for solving for particular solutions of linear differential equations can be used to lead students to a more intuitive treatment of other topics in a typical undergraduate differential equations sequence. Given budget and staffing restrictions placed on smaller universities the techniques discussed offer a means for obtaining a higher level of student competency in complex numbers with a minimal resource and time investment.


Department of Mathematics, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX


Email addresses: john.ehrke@acu.edu