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Math 121B: Mathematics for Physical Sciences

UC Berkeley, Spring 2020

Zoom Meeting: MWF 9-10AM

Zoom Office hours: MWF: 10-11am, and Monday Friday afternoon 4-5pm.

  • My Personal Meeting ID is: 881-910-2324.
  • Please also join the chat channel, named “Math 121B”. So that if I am not in my 'office' during office hour, you can send me a message, and I will be back.


Peng Zhou (
Office: 931 Evans
Office Hour: MWF: 10-11am, M:12-1pm. W:2-4pm.


We continue to use the textbook by Boas, Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences 3rd edition.

We will cover chapters 10, 11, 12, 13, 15. We split them into two parts

  • Part I: Ch 10, 13.1-4. Chapter 10 is about tensor notation and curvilinear coordinates, which will be used in Ch 13 to do separation of variable for Laplace operator $\Delta$, and reduce PDE to ODEs.
  • Part II: Chapter 12 is about solving these ODEs, and the solutions are Bessel function and Legendre function. Finally, after these hard works, we can tackle Chapter 13 for various PDEs in physics.
  • Part III: Ch 15, We will learn basic probability concepts. If time permits, we will do some topics on probability, such as central limit theorems, stochastic processes, or markov chain.

Exams We will have two midterms and one final. midterms are for part I and II, and final is accumulative.

Homeworks Homeworks will be assigned weekly, but not collected or graded. You are welcome to submit for comments.

Grading Total grade = 30% + 30% for the two midterms + 40% final.

Accomodation If you are a DSP student and need accomodation for exams, please let me know at the beginning of the semester.

Piazza Please sign up at


These are excerpts of the book Finite Dimensional Vector Spaces, written by Paul R. Halmos.

The whole book can be found in our library with online access, or directly here .

“A good stock of examples, as large as possible, is indispensable for a thorough understanding of any concept, and when I want to learn something new, I make it my first job to build one.” – Paul Halmos



math121b/start.txt · Last modified: 2021/04/14 16:08 by pzhou