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Tips on Solving the Word Problems of Differential Equations

By Jimmy Chang, eHow Presenter

When solving word problems of differential equations you may want to consider a few tricks that will help make things easier. Learn about tips on solving the word problems of differential equations with help from a mathematics educator in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Jimmy Chang and we're here to talk about tips on solving word problems of differential equations. Now differential equations as you might imagine especially with word problems can take a little bit to solve and setting it up is actually the hardest part. But here are some tips on helping you set up the word problem and go from there. Now, as you know with differential equations there's going to be a lot of things involving change and so whenever you look at words or phrases involving rates of change, okay what that's going to allow you to do is write terms in derivative notation. Now, some of those terms could allow you to write terms like DP, DT, there's a lot of changes over time so DT as the denominator is going to be used a lot, DV, DT, things like that. Now, something else to consider would be if any initial conditions were given. Often times it could be at times 0 but it doesn't have to be times 0. It could be when T equals to 1, 2, it depends on what the situation is. Something else to look for would be if you are given a function to play with. Now, if a function is not given inside of the context of the problem it may give you enough information to look it up either earlier in the section or earlier in the book and hopefully after all this stuff it will allow you to finally set up either the integral or the differential equation to help you set up the integral. So it all depends on what kind of information that you're given but basically look for any change terms that will allow you to set up derivative notation, any initial conditions, any functions that will be given would be great and that will allow you to eventually get the integral. So I'm Jimmy Chang and there are a few tips on how to solve word problems in differential equations.