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A First Course in Differential Equations Hardcover – May 14, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0495108245 ISBN-10: 0495108243 Edition: 9th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 9 edition (May 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0495108243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0495108245
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 10.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dennis G. Zill is professor of mathematics at Loyola Marymount University. His interests are in applied mathematics, special functions, and integral transforms. Dr. Zill received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics and his M.S. from Iowa State University in 1967 and 1964, respectively. He received his B.A. from St. Mary's in Winona, Minnesota, in 1962. Dr. Zill also is former chair of the Mathematics Department at Loyola Marymount University. He is the author or co-author of 13 mathematics texts.

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Customer Reviews

Save your money if at all possible.
Ken
The book sometimes has a confusing outline-type layout each chapter, which makes it hard to follow the concepts presented in a chapter.
Logan Schelly
The examples also often skip steps making the problems confusing.
symestreet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Baze on August 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's a perfect book for an engineering student, or a student studying the physical sciences- notably physics. For those studying mathematics, logic, or economics, this book will not deliver complete satisfaction, as the text falls short of explaining the reasoning behind the methods used to solve differential equations.

In other words, the book presents numerous excellent techniques in solving differential equations, but does not go into detail as to how the methods work. Knowing "how" the methods work can really help increase the undergraduate (even graduate) student's mathematical aptitude, and will engrain the methods as "tools" in the mathematician's mind for a very long time. Thus, after going through the course with this book, I felt the methods used to solve diffEq's slip away.

It's a great book with many examples and how to's, but it's not effective in keeping the methods alive in the student's mind. A more effective book, in my opinion, would be Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems.

If you must purchase this book for class, you won't be disappointed. It's littered with numerous examples and answers in the book of the book- however, if you really want to LEARN the logic behind diff Eq, prepare to do your own reading on the side, or pester your math professor to explain why the methods are what they are.

Hope this helps- please comment if you have any questions or concerns.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Wentzel on March 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The book is pretty professional, however it comes with a pretty big price for such a small book. Also, some of the main equations in the book are poorly identified--they're there, but you have to look a little harder than just opening to the page and seeing it standing out in all of its glory. Also, if you've taken any calculus-based physics classes, I think you'll find that your physics textbook will do a much better job of explaining how to solve physics-related problems than this book does, rightly so maybe.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ken on September 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately as students we don't get to pick the textbooks. If you're not forced to buy this one for a course and are reading up on differential equations in your spare time, skip this book!

It attempts to be consise, but to a fault. The "examples" scattered throughout the chapters are often nothing more than an equation and a discription of how to solve it, and magically the solution is there. I would like a little more hand-holding and step by step examples, because there have been many times I'll stare at an equation and not know how they got to the final step. Often it's something simple, and therefore skipped, but geez- if you're trying to teach me something, SHOW THE WORK!

Unfortunately I'm in double trouble because my teacher has a thick accent and I can barely understand his explanations. If I want to understand a concept, I have to search online to teach myself, while this expensive book sits open and unhelpful beside me.

Finally, the Cost. The Cost! The price deserves capital letters. I know textbooks are expensive, but this is one of the shorter books. At under 400 pages and hardback, it clocks in well over $120. Save your money if at all possible.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By swb1219 on August 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is decent for an introductory class on DE's but Zill doesn't explain enough about what's going on. The examples are fine and lead to good exercises with a wide range of engineering and physics examples. Most students will do fine using the book though.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James T Dean Jr on August 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book only gives answers to 'selected' odd-numbered problems making it hard to check your work and make sure you know what you are doing. The solutions manual only works out about every third problem. Even then, they are not worked out well. Once again making it hard to check your work. I really regret buying this now.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Murray on February 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I don't have anything to compare this book to, it seems to leave a lot out, assuming you understand how to get from step 1 to solving a problem. I've heard the solution manual is not much help either. Although it seems organized, you have to flip back and forth often to get all the info needed to understand many problems, which can be frustrating. Good luck to all taking a DE class - cool math, but lots of work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By symestreet on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely awful as it is very hard to understand. I don't know how any normal person is supposed to understand anything in this textbook. The examples also often skip steps making the problems confusing. This book sucks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cate on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While this book gives good problems to work on, the book isn't very clear. It covers all of the topics, but doesn't explain how to do things and apply it to something other than the example. I had a very hard time following the explanations and found that Zill tried to make it sound more complicated than it should have been, all while not explaining what he was trying to accomplish.
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