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A differential equation is a mathematical formula common in science and engineering that seeks to find the rate of change in one variable to other variables. Differential equations use derivatives, which are variables that represent change of a functional dependence of one variable upon another. In many differential equations, you will see the derivatives expressed in x and y terms. Differential equations are used in areas of quantitative study because they help scientists and engineers find solutions that may be used to predict the behavior of an original system. These solutions, called functions, show rates of change in matters that can be directly observed and measured.

It is valuable to learn differential equations as these are found and used in traditional sciences like physics, engineering, chemistry, and biology and numerical sciences like math, scientific computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Differential equations are used in these areas to find rates of change in problems like circuit design, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, seismic waves, or in finance for options trading. Learning about differential equations can help you if you choose to study and eventually work in these fields.

Some typical career opportunities for those who learn differential equations are in science and engineering jobs like control software engineer, computational fluid dynamics analyst, data scientist, meteorology scientist, and similar weather science roles. You may also find career opportunities in research science, electromagnetics, physics, and electrical engineering positions. Jobs in options trading are also possible if you know differential equations, as traders often use these formulas in software programs to assess a current value or volatility of a particular stock price.

Taking online courses in differential equations might help you grasp the fundamentals of first-order differential equations, second-order linear differential equations, and mathematical modeling problems. When you study the key aspects of differential equations in online courses, you may also learn the basics of related scientific and mathematical disciplines of discrete mathematics, linear algebra, and statistical probability.

This FAQ content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

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