Marcelo Mendes Disconzi
Department of Mathematics, Vanderbilt University

email: marcelo.disconzi at
office: Stevenson Center 1515
phone: (615) 322 7147   fax: (615) 343 0215
mail to: 1326 Stevenson Center Ln, Vanderbilt University, Nashville TN 37240


Marcelo Mendes Disconzi
MATH 3120- Introduction of partial differential equations

General Information
For a description of the course, including the grading policy, consult the course syllabus. Students are responsible for reading the syllabus and being aware of all the course and university policies. If you are taking this course for graduate credit, consult the MATH 5120 syllabus.  

This course will be taught through a hybrid online/in-person model. See the course syllabus for details.

Textbook: No textbook will be required. See the course syllabus for suggested references.

Classes meet on TR, 2:203:35pm at Buttrick Hall 206.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we will be following all guidelines stipulated by Vanderbilt University. See the return to campus website, the Vanderbilt COVID-19 response website, and the Vanderbilt COVID-19 dashboard for more information.

Contact Information and Office Hours
Instructor's office: Stevenson Center 1515 (5th floor of the Mathematics Building).
Instructor's email:
Instructor's office hours: Tuesdays, 4-5pm, Thursdays, 1-2pm and 5-6pm, or by appointment. Office hours will be held virtually. If you want to meet in person, please schedule an appointment.
Instructor's office phone: (615) 322-7147.

Below is an ongoing schedule for the course (for the academic calendar, click here). Click here for the class notes, and here for the class notes in handwritten form. The class notes will be updated and typeset as the course progress. Since typesetting them might take some time, typically the most up-to-date version of the notes will be in the handwritten form.

 Date  Material covered  Remarks
 Jan 26  Introduction. Examples of PDEs.  HW 1 is posted on Brightspace.
 Due: Feb 2, 11:59pm.
 Solutions to HW 1.
 Jan 28  Separation of variables for the Schrodinger equation with a radially symmetric potential.  
 Feb 2  More on the Schrodinger equation. The angular equation (Legendre polynomials and spherical harmonics). The radial equation.    HW 2 is posted on Brightspace.
 Due: Feb 9, 4pm.
 Solutions to HW 2.
 Feb 4  Final remarks on the Schrodinger equation. Separation of variables for the one-dimensional wave equation.   
 Feb 9  More on the wave equation. Fourier series.  HW 3 is posted on Brightspace.
 Due: Feb 16, 4pm.
 Solutions to HW 3.
 Feb 11  Convergence of Fourier series.  
 Feb 16  Sine and cosine Fourier series. Back to the initial-value-boundary problem for the 1d wave equation. The 1d wave equation on the real line; D'Alembert's formula.  HW 4 is posted on Brightspace.
 Due: Feb 22, 11:59pm.
 Solutions to HW 4.
 Feb 18  Domains of influence and dependence for the 1d wave equation. Generalized solutions to the 1d wave equation and propagation of singularities. Some general tools for the study of PDEs.  HW 5 is posted on Brightspace.
 Due: Mar 2, 4:00pm.
Extra credit 1 is posted on Brightspace.
 Due: Mar 2, 4:00pm.
 Feb 23  Formal aspects of PDEs (calculus facts, multi-index notation, some useful conventions, etc.)  In-class reading day.
 Feb 25  The fundamental solution to the Laplacian in R^n. Solutions to Poisson's equation in R^n.  In-class reading day.
 Mar 2    
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 Mar 23    
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 Mar 30    
 Apr 1    
 Apr 6    
 Apr 8    In-class reading day.
 Apr 13    
 Apr 15    
 Apr 20    
 Apr 22    
 Apr 27    
 Apr 29    

Anonymous feedback
Students are encouraged to bring suggestions and discuss with the course instructor any concerns they may have, including something they think is not being properly handled in the course. But if you do not feel comfortable doing that, here you have the opportunity to send anonymous feedback.