What better use for a computer algebra system than a problem whose solution you know intuitively, and for which the paper-and-pencil work feels too daunting to start? Here’s a problem that exploits what we know about the solutions of damped driven oscillators, making use of the usual ODE capabilities in Maxima, together with a nonlinear solve with **find-root** at the end.

# Category: Differential Equations

## Solving a typical second order differential equation

Here’s an easy start-to-finish test run for solving an ordinary differential equation in Maxima. The keys are: the ‘diff(y,x) form of the derivative, the commands **ode2** and **ic2**. For verifying the solution: **ev** and **rhs**.

## Wronskian Determinants

I’ve been talking to my differential equations class about linear combinations of linearly independent solutions for higher order linear, constant-coefficient, homogeneous equations. Here’s how it looks when we let Maxima do the heavy lifting.