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Free Online Course on Differential Equations

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is offering free online course on Differential Equations: Linear Algebra and NxN Systems of Differential Equations. In this course, we will learn how to use linear algebra to solve systems of more than 2 differential equations.

In this nine week course, applicants will learn how to use linear algebra and MATLAB to solve large systems of differential equations. This course will start on March 21, 2018.

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Course At A Glance 

Length: 9 weeks
Effort: 5-8 hours pw
Subject: Engineering
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $50
Session: Course Starts on March 21, 2018

Providers’ Details

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – a coeducational, privately endowed research university founded in 1861 – is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

About This Course

University will use systems of equations and matrices to explore:

  • The original page ranking systems used by Google,
  • Balancing chemical reaction equations,
  • Tuned mass dampers and other coupled oscillators,
  • Three or more species competing for resources in an ecosystem,
  • The trajectory of a rider on a zip line.

Why Take This Course?

Differential equations are the mathematical language we use to describe the world around us. More phenomena cannot be modeled by single differential equations, but by systems of interacting differential equations. These systems may consist of many equations.

Learning Outcomes

  • After this course, you will be able to
  • Model and solve different real world phenomena with systems of differential equations.
  • Find the dimension and a basis for a (finite dimensional) vector space.
  • Formulate and solve eigenvalue and eigenvector problems.
  • Use MATLAB to explore solutions to large systems of equations.


David Jerison
Professor of Mathematics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bjorn Poonen
Claude Shannon Professor of Mathematics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


18.031x Introduction to Differential Equations (Scalar equations), 18.032x Differential Equations: 2×2 Systems (2×2 first order differential equations).

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
  • EdX offers honor code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
  • Once applicant sign up for a course and activate their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in their email address and edX password. This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.)

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