Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Many quantities in the physical world can be represented by smoothly varying functions of position in two or three dimensions. This subject develops, with an emphasis on relevant calculations, the differential and integral calculus of scalar and vector fields in cartesian and curvilinear coordinates. Three important partial differential equations are introduced: the wave equation, the heat equation and Laplace's equation; to solve them, they are reduced to several ordinary differential equations by the technique of separation of variables. Laplace transforms are introduced as a technique for solving constant coefficient ordinary differential equations with discontinuous forcing terms, such as those which arise in electronics. Thus we generalize many of the techniques used in first year (to analyse functions of a single variable) to the several variable case, as most real-world systems depend crucially on multiple factors.

FacultyFaculty of Science, Tech & Engineering

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPhilip Broadbridge

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites MAT1CLA or (MAT1NLA and MAT1CDE)


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsPrinted subject text available from University BookshopPrescribedN/AN/A

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2014, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPhilip Broadbridge

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
Two 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Practical Week: 10 - 22
Two 1.0 hours practical per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments%
Written test on Laplace Transforms (30 mins)10
fortnightly written assignments15
one 3-hour examination75