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This course is part of the MAGIC core.


This course provides a graduate-level introduction to the qualitative theory of Dynamical Systems, including bifurcation theory for ODEs and chaos for maps.
The format will involve only 10 hours of MAGIC lectures most of which will be in the format of an examples class/tutorial. Most of the new material will be presented as short video podcasts that will be linked from the MAGIC website. Hence you will not make much sense of the course if you only attend the timetable lectures - there are at least 10 more hours of lectures that you will need to study in your own time.
This course is effectively a 20 hour course, given in experimental format for 2017-18!


Autumn 2017 (Monday, October 9 to Friday, December 15)


  • Tue 09:05 - 09:55


Students should have a good understanding of real linear algebra and ordinary differential equations as well as a basic understanding of the topology of subsets of the real line. Some modelling experience and previous experience of phase plane analysis will be helpful.


* Asymptotic Behaviour: Asymptotic behaviour of IVPs for autonomous and non-autonomous ODEs. Omega- and alpha- limit sets. Stability of invariant sets. [1 week]
* Linear and nonlinear systems: Phase space and stability of linear and non-linear equilibria. Near-identity transformations and linearization. Structural stability. [2 weeks]
* Oscillations: Periodic orbits, Poincare index. Statement of Poincare-Bendixson theorem. [1 week]
* Bifurcation: Bifurcation from equilibria for ODEs. Normal forms. Centre manifolds. Statement of Hopf bifurcation theorem. Examples. [2 weeks]
* Chaotic systems: Chaotic ODEs and maps. Iterated maps and orbits. Horseshoes and chaos. Period doubling. Cantor set, shift map and symbolic dynamics. Sharkovskii theorem. Examples of ergodic properties. [3 weeks]
* Further examples (if time allows). [1 week]


Peter Ashwin
Phone (01392) 725225
Interests Nonlinear dynamics, applications
Photo of Peter Ashwin
Profile: My research is into various aspects of nonlinear dynamical systems and its applications, including bifurcations with symmetry, coupled dynamical systems spatio-temporal dynamics and low dimensional maps.


Photo of Kevin Bolton
Kevin Bolton
Photo of Michael Ellis
Michael Ellis
Photo of Elena Marensi
Elena Marensi


Ordinary Differential Equations and Dynamical SystemsG Teschl
Stability, Instability and ChaosPaul Glendinning
An Introduction to Chaotic Dynamical SystemRobert L Devaney
Stephen H StrogatzNonlinear Dynamics and Chaos


Clicking on the link for a book will take you to the relevant Google Book Search page. You may be able to preview the book there. On the right hand side you will see links to places where you can buy the book. There is also link marked 'Find this book in a library'. This sometimes works well, but not always. (You will need to enter your location, but it will be saved after you do that for the first time.)


The assessment of this course is via a Take Home Exam that will be available during the assessment period.

No assignments have been set for this course.


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Recorded Lectures

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