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A First Course in Differential Equations 9th Edition

46 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0495108245
ISBN-10: 0495108243
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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Brooks Cole; 9 edition (May 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0495108243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0495108245
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 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 Joe Obrycki on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I selected this text to teach a one-semester Diff Eq course to advanced high school students (most have finished BC Calc), and picked it because it seemed to be more accessible than some of the more traditional texts. It is very good for what it says it is - a first course in differential equations. It does not have as much theoretical explanation / proofs as other texts, but it does a good job setting guideposts for a study of differential equations. Includes a great deal of applications for those who are interested.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Wentzel on March 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jung_dalglish on July 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I do feel sorry for the low review rating of this book, which is due to its bad-production kindle edition, not a rating about the content of the book.
For my experience, I had to select the suitable book to teach a 1-semester class, and I surveyed the other 5 textbooks : Simmons, Boyce & Diprima, Blanchard et al., Braun's and Dover's Bear's books. I found that Logan's book has some preferable features to use as the main text :

1) The book is concise and readable which is suitable for a time-constraint reader. Standard textbooks such as
Boyce & Diprima, Simmons, and Blanchard et al. perhaps are too much for a first-time encounter, and, in my experience, can bring the reader to get lost in the forest.

2) Less focus on calculation, but intuition and applications. Unlike many textbooks which emphasize various tricks to solve first and second order equations, Logan's book seems to emphasize more on concepts, intuitions and how can the equations are applied in the real-world problems. (Various tricks are on exercises instead). This again helps the reader to grasp the big picture of the subject, and not concentrate too much on tricky calculation parts (which are not very much have applications or presently superseded by numerical methods).

This compact book, unlike Dover's Bear's little book, contains considerable number of applications in various fields (also in excercises) such as Physics, Engineering, Economics, Ecology, etc. This is desirable since Differential Equations was indeed invented for applications, unlike other pure math subjects.

3) It is really elementary, suitable for the first encounter. Textbooks such as Braun's is more advanced and can be used in the more advanced courses.

Textbooks such as that of Simmons can be used as a very good supplementary to introduce to more advanced topics.
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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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4 of 5 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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