MATHS 763 : Advanced Partial Differential Equations


2020 Semester One (1203) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A study of exact and approximate methods of solution for the linear partial differential equations that frequently arise in applications.

Course Overview

The course aims to give the fundamental theory of PDEs and some important techniques for the solution of PDEs. The focus is mainly on linear PDEs; nonlinear PDEs are the subject of another postgraduate mathematics course, Maths 762. A good background in Stage 3 differential equations and multivariable calculus is assumed. The course is typically taken as part of a postgraduate degree, especially by students majoring in mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and physics.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: B- in both MATHS 340 and 361

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand and apply the basic concepts of partial differential equations and the related initial-boundary value problems (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  2. Understand and apply fundamental solutions and other representations for solutions of PDE's (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  3. Understand and apply numerical methods for the solution of PDE's and the related initial-boundary value problems (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Three assignments 40% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 60% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3
Three assignments
Final Exam
There is no plussage in MATHS 763. This means that all components of the assessment count towards your final grade. Attempt all assessments!

You need to achieve at least 35% on the final exam to pass the course.


Whanaungatanga and manaakitangi are fundamental principles of our Tuakana Mathematics programme which provides support for Maori and Pasifika students who are taking mathematics courses. The Tuakana Maths programme consists of workshops and drop-in times, and provides a space where you are able to work alongside our Tuakana tutors and other Maori and Pasifika students who are studying mathematics.

For further information, please visit 

Key Topics

Introduction: formulation and derivation of the heat equation.
Laplace and Poisson problems: existence and uniqueness, maximum principle, fundamental solution and other representations for solutions.
Helmholtz equation and scattering.
Variational (weak) formulation of initial-boundary value problems. Fourier transforms and eigendecompositions.

Learning Resources

All lecture notes and supporting reading material, as well as some Matlab codes, will be available on Canvas.

Special Requirements

There is no compulsory attendance and no must-pass assessments. The use of calculators in the exam is not permitted.  

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures, no tutorial, 4 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 11/01/2020 03:12 p.m.