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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MATH3396 Dynamical Systems

15 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Dr Jon Ward

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

(MATH2016 or MATH2017) and (MATH1012 or MATH1060 or MATH1331). MATH2391 is helpful but not required.

This module is mutually exclusive with

MATH5395MAdvanced Dynamical Systems
MATH5396MAdvanced Dynamical Systems

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This course continues the study of nonlinear dynamics begun in MATH 2391, but for maps rather than differential equations.Maps are the natural setting for understanding the nature of chaotic dynamics, which arise in a variety of contexts in biology, chemistry, physics, economics and engineering.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

a) find fixed points, periodic orbits and other invariant sets in maps and compute their stability;
b) understand the structure of chaos in maps;
c) use a computer to investigate the behaviour of families of one-dimensional maps;
d) transform between the dynamics of a one-dimensional maps (the Lorenz map, the tent map and the logistic map) and symbolic dynamics;
e) identify codimension-one bifurcations in maps and sketch bifurcation diagrams;
f) use renormalisation techniques to understand the cascades of bifurcations involved in the transition to chaos.


- One-dimensional maps: fixed points, periodic points, asymptotic and Lyapunov stability, Lyapunov exponent, omega-limit sets, conjugate maps, topological entropy, topological chaos and horse-shoes, Period-three implies chaos, sensitive dependence on initial conditions, Schwartzian derivative, renormalisation, the period-doubling cascade and Feigenbaum's constant.
- Maple programs will be used throughout to demonstrate important principles.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours117.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Studying and revising of course material.
Completing of assignments and assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Five example sheets.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 30 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/03/2018


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