Nonlinear Dynamics at the Free University Berlin

Summer 2018

BMS-Course Dynamical Systems

Prof. Dr. Bernold Fiedler

Recitation sessions: Hannes Stuke, Alejandro Lopez

Schedule, Summer 2018

Tuesday, 10-12:00, Thursday, 10:00-12:00, A7/SR 031 (Arnimallee 7)
Alejandro López, Monday 14:00-16:00 A7/SR 031, (Arnimallee 7)
Hannes Stuke, Wednesday 14:00-16:00 A6/SR 009, (Arnimallee 6)
The first tutorial will take place on Monday, April 23
Written exam / Klausur: the written exam will take place in the last lecture week on Tuesday, July 17th, 10.15-11.45. You can look up the exam (Klausureinsicht) in the last lecture week on Thursday, July 19th, 10.15-11.45.

Pass Criteria

Solve correctly at least 25% of the assignments. Hand in solution attempts for at least 50% of the assignments. Present a correct solution to an assignment on the blackboard in the recitation session at least once. Pass the written exam.


Students of mathematics or physics, including teachers, from semester 3. Direct access to thesis projects: bachelor, master, dissertation. Students interested in dynamical systems are also welcome to participate in the seminar Geschichte(n) der Dynamik. Please note that topics will be distributed on April 18, 10 a.m. It will be possible to give your talk in English.


Dynamical Systems are concerned with anything that moves. Through the centuries, mathematical approaches take us on a fascinating voyage from origins in celestial mechanics to contemporary struggles between chaos and determinism.

The three semester course, aimed at graduate students in the framework of the Berlin Mathematical School, will be mathematical in emphasis. Talented and advanced undergraduates, however, are also welcome to this demanding course, as are students from the applied fields, who plan to really progress to the heart of the matter.

Here is an outline of the first semester:

Semester 1:

  1. Existence and uniqueness of solutions of ordinary differential equations
  2. Flows, differentiablility and first integrals
  3. Linear differential equations
  4. Omega-limit sets and Lyapunov functions
  5. Planar flows and the Poincaré-Bendixson theorem
  6. Forced oscillations


  • K.T. Alligood, T.D. Sauer and J.A. Yorke: Chaos, Springer, 1997.
  • H. Amann: Ordinary Differential Equations, de Gruyter, 1990.
  • V.I. Arnold: Ordinary Differential Equations, Springer, 2001.
  • V.I. Arnold: Geometrical Methods in the Theory of Ordinary Differential Equations, Springer, 1988.
  • W.E. Boyce and R.C. DiPrima: Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems, Wiley, 5th edition, 1992.
  • S.-N. Chow and J.K. Hale: Methods of Bifurcation Theory, Springer, 1982.
  • E.A. Coddington and N. Levinson: Theory of ordinary differential equations, McGill-Hill, 1955.
  • P. Collet and J.-P. Eckmann: Concepts and Results in Chaotic Dynamics. A Short Course, Springer, 2006.
  • R. Devaney, M.W. Hirsch and S. Smale: Differential Equations, Dynamical Systems, and an Introduction to Chaos, Academic Press, 2003.
    (This is the updated version of
    M.W. Hirsch and S. Smale: Differential Equations, Dynamical Systems, and Linear Algebra, Academic Press, 1974.)
  • Dynamical Systems I, D.K. Anosov and V.I. Arnold (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Mathematical Sciences Vol 1, Springer, 1988.
  • J. Hale: Ordinary Differential Equations, Wiley, 1969.
  • B. Hasselblatt, A. Katok: A First Course in Dynamics, Cambridge 2003.
  • P. Hartmann: Ordinary Differential Equations, Wiley, 1964.
  • A. Katok, B. Hasselblatt: Introduction to the Modern Theory of Dynamical Systems, Cambridge 1997.
  • F. Verhulst: Nonlinear Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems, Springer, 1996.
  • E. Zeidler: Nonlinear Functional Analysis and its Applications, Volume 1: Fixed-Point Theorems, Springer, 1998.

Homework assignments

Please form teams of two and hand in your joint solutions.

  1. Assignment, due 30.04.2018 (PDF)
  2. Assignment, due 07.05.2018 (PDF)
  3. Assignment, due 18.05.2018 (PDF)
  4. Assignment, due 25.05.2018 (PDF)
  5. Assignment, due 01.06.2018 (PDF)
  6. Assignment, due 08.06.2018 (PDF)
  7. Assignment, due 15.06.2018 (PDF)
  8. Assignment, due 22.06.2018 (PDF)
  9. Assignment, due 29.06.2018 (PDF)
  10. Assignment, due 06.07.2018 (PDF)
  11. Assignment, due 13.07.2018 (PDF)

Dynamical Systems I: basic questions

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