# Methods of Solving Differential Equations

If anyone knows any good sites that explain the different methods of solving first order differential equations, that would be great. Thanks.

By hand? Or with software?

If you have access to MATLAB, there’s a differential equation toolbox. I think ode45(function, integration interval, initial conditions) should work. Use help to doublecheck the syntax. Maple and Mathcad should be able to handle it as well.

Otherwise there’s plenty of stuff that shows up when you google it. Perhaps if you post the specific equation you are trying to solve someone could point you in the right direction. I don’t have any specific suggestions, as I’d probally go right to my textbook (Davis, Differential Equations: Modeling with MATLAB)

1.) Get all your “y’s” on one side and all your “t’s” on the other
2.) Integrate both sides (Don’t forget the +C)
3.) Solve for y

Hope this helps a little

Can you get a copy of Ian Stewart’s books? They are really good.

If you are looking for numerical methods, try Mathworld.

For methods that work in closed form (e.g., for problems you have to solve during college exams) go to your text. I don’t remember which text I used, because it was in the late 1970’s and probably out of print by now anyway. The one you have today is probably better.

Try to do it by hand. If i can’t then i put it into my 89. if that can’t figure it out then i hand it off to my friend paul.

There are many programs that can do this. Use Maple, Mathematica, or MATLAB. I wrote a cheap little program to solve second-order ODEs myself, but that can only solve equations of the type ay’’+by’+cy = 0. You want the first-order ones. So go to the software. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s always your best bet.

Sanddrag -

Try Paul’s Online Math Notes here:

http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/AllBrowsers/3401/FirstOrder.asp

Good, clear explanations. Nice site.

Of course, this will teach you *how * to solve them, not how to plug them into a solving machine, but if I remember some of your previous posts correctly, that’s what *you * are looking for, right?