Using Taylor polynomial to approximately solve an ordinary differential equation


Taylor polynomial is an essential concept in understanding numerical methods. Examples abound and include finding accuracy of divided difference approximation of derivatives and forming the basis for Romberg method of numerical integration.

In this example, we are given an ordinary differential equation and we use the Taylor polynomial to approximately solve the ODE for the value of the dependent variable at a particular value of the independent variable. As a homework assignment, do the following.
1) compare the approximate solution with the exact one, and
2) get another approximate solution by using a third order Taylor polynomial.

Taylor polynomial approximation of solving ordinary differential equations

You can visit the above example by opening a pdf or video file.

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Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw (http://autarkaw.com) is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare (nm.MathForCollege.com) annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

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