The visual of a differential equation (Image credit: Ethan Hein)

When it comes to mathematics, there are various classes that offered starting at a young age and working up to the Ph.D. level. Math majors or engineering majors will likely know something about differential equations, even though this term might go completely over your head if you’re a layman. In basic terms, a differential equation is an equation relating an unknown function and one or more of its derivatives. It’s a model of a physical property and basically considered a form of calculus that can be applied to real-world situations.

An example of a differential equation is:

y’ = ky

This equation models the growth and decay of a physical entity over time, such as the life of a plant or the growth of a population.

The solution to the above equation is y = C(e^kt)

Because the study of differential equations is one of the more complex mathematical topics, it’s a good idea to have the best possible textbooks on this subject. According to, the following differential equations textbooks are considered the best ones that are currently in use by professors in higher-level math courses:

1. Ordinary Differential Equations (Dover Books on Mathematics) by Morris Tenenbaum, Harry Pollard, and Mathematics (1985 – Dover Publications)

2. Schaum’s Outline of Differential Equations [Third Edition – Schaum’s Outline Series] by Richard Bronson and Gabriel Costa (2009 – McGraw-Hill)

3. Elementary Differential Equations by William E. Boyce and Richard C. DiPrima (2008 – Wiley)

4. Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers [Dover Books on Mathematics] by Stanley J. Farlow (1993 – Dover Publications)

5. Stochastic Differential Equations: An Introduction with Applications [Universitext] by Bernt K. Oksendal (2010 – Springer Publishing)

6. Partial Differential Equations: Second Edition (Graduate Studies in Mathematics) by Lawrence C. Evans (2010 – American Mathematics Society)

7. Applied Partial Differential Equations [Fourth Edition] by Richard Haberman (2003 – Prentice Hall)

8. A First Course in Differential Equations: The Classic Fifth Edition by Dennis G. Zill (2000 – Brooks Cole Publishing)

9. Differential Equations: An Introduction to Modern Methods and Applications by James Brennan (2011 – Wiley)

10. A First Course in Differential Equations [Ninth Edition] by Dennis G. Zill (2008 – Brooks Cole Publishing)

Be sure to use as your premier resource to compare prices on textbooks from a variety of online booksellers. This includes websites that offer books for sale and for rent. Shopping around and compare prices from several different sources is the best way to save cash on your college textbooks.