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Berkeley Problems in Mathematics (Problem Books in Mathematics) Paperback – January 20, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0387008929 ISBN-10: 0387008926 Edition: 3rd

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Product Details

  • Series: Problem Books in Mathematics
  • Paperback: 593 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 3rd edition (January 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387008926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387008929
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #802,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews of the third edition:

"This new edition has been updated with the most recent exams … . There are numerous new problems and solutions which were not included in previous editions. It is an invaluable source of problems and solutions for every mathematics student who plans to enter a Ph. D program. … this book will develop problem-solving skills in areas such as real analysis, multivariable calculus, differential equations, metric spaces, complex analysis, algebra, and linear algebra. … Tags with the exact exam year provide the opportunity to rehearse complete examinations. … This new edition has been updated with the most recent exams … ." (Zentralblatt für Didaktik der Mathematik, November 2004)

"The Mathematics department of the University of California, Berkeley, has set a written preliminary examination to determine whether first year Ph.D. students have mastered enough basic mathematics to succeed in the doctoral program. Berkeley Problems in Mathematics is a compilation of all the … questions, together with worked solutions … . All the solutions I looked at are complete … . Some of the solutions are very elegant. … This is an impressive piece of work and a welcome addition to any mathematician’s bookshelf." (Chris Good, The Mathematical Gazette, 90:518, 2006)

"During the last twenty-five years problems from written preliminary examinations that are required for the Ph.D. degree at the Mathematics Department of the University of California, Berkeley, have been assembled. … The book is suited for students in mathematics, physics or engineering. Solutions are well explained, making the book valuable for self-study. The problems have a satisfactory high level, so the book is a rich resource of examples for lecturers as well, who need exercises … . This book certainly is to be recommended." (Paula Bruggen, Bulletin of the Belgian Mathematical Society, 12:4, 2005)

From the Back Cover

 In 1977 the Mathematics Department at the University of California, Berkeley, instituted a written examination as one of the first major requirements toward the Ph.D. degree in Mathematics. Its purpose was to determine whether first-year students in the Ph.D. program had successfully mastered basic mathematics in order to continue in the program with the likelihood of success. Since its inception, the exam has become a major hurdle to overcome in the pursuit of the degree. The purpose of this book is to publicize the material and aid in the preparation for the examination during the undergraduate years. The book is a compilation of over 1,250 problems which have appeared on the preliminary exams in Berkeley over the last twenty-five years. It is an invaluable source of problems and solutions for every mathematics student who plans to enter a Ph.D. program. Students who work through this book will develop problem-solving skills in areas such as real analysis, multivariable calculus, differential equations, metric spaces, complex analysis, algebra, and linear algebra. The problems are organized by subject and ordered in an increasing level of difficulty. Tags with the exact exam year provide the opportunity to rehearse complete examinations. The appendix includes instructions on accessing electronic versions of the exams as well as a syllabus and statistics of passing scores.

This new edition has been updated with the most recent exams, including exams given during the Fall 2003 semester. There are numerous new problems and solutions which were not included in previous editions.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jim Heuser on February 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a rare peak inside one of the best Ph.D. programs in Mathematics in the world. It allows you to try out and test yourself on the same problems that the best young and aspiring mathematicians are testing themselves.
The problems are neatly arranged by subject and in increasing level of difficulty, and the solutions, are not only beautifully
written, but somewhat surprising and unexpected for a seasoned student. I pull mine out of the shelf on the rainy days and try a few more, and when I get one, I really savour it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Budney on March 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
These are great problems for those who would like to review undergraduate mathematics or those who would like to try some challenging problems. They are not as difficult as the problems on the Putnam competitions or those in the Math Monthly , but many require a bit of thought and some ingenuity. Some of the problems are routine, and if you don't want to review the basics, you can skip those and just try the more difficult ones. Even experienced problem solvers will have fun with some of these! Anyone who teaches undergraduate mathematics should have this collection. Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Trenton F. Schirmer on March 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The problems in this book are excellent, they are both entertaining and instructive. I thought I knew calculus, linear algebra, and all of the other typical undergraduate subjects very well, until I purchased this book. After working several problems, mostly without success, I realized that there is a big difference between knowing theorems and knowing how to use them. Since then I have worked these problems daily to improve my "working knowledge," and it has made me a much better mathematician. Learning the definitions and theorems is just the first stage of mathematical knowledge. In this form your knowledge is simply something stored in memory. In the second stage, you must turn it into something more like "software," something that is an active part of your thinking. The only way to do this is by solving problems, and for undergraduate mathematics, this is probably the best book of problems you will find. Highly recommended.
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18 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mahesh on July 1, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A GOOD COLLECTION OF PROBLEMS THAT HAVE BEEN THE BENCH MARK OF SELECTION TO THE PhD PROGRAMME AT UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKLEY IN MATHEMATICS. THERE IS A WIDE RANGE OF PROBLEMS THAT COMPRISE SOME SIMPLE AND SOME HARDER NUTS TO CRACK.THE PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN PUT IN THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY HAVE APPEARED IN THE EXAMS. NOT ALL QUESTIONS FIND SOLUTIONS IN THE BOOK HENCE THIS KEEPS UP THE SPIRIT OF THE EXAMINATION BUT THE SOLVED ONES SHALL HELP TO VENT FRUSTARTION OR OVER COME FALIURE AT TIMES. THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE PLANNING TO TAKE UP A PhD IN MATHEMATICS TO GUAGE THEIR AREAS OF STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS.A VERY WELL COMPILED SET THAT COMES YET AGAIN WITH THE GUIDENCE OF P.R.HALMOS.
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12 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
The problem with the contents of this book is that they are mostly standard, or require a simple trick. Many problems also require quite a bit of knowledge in higher mathematics, which may be good if you want to test that.
However, this book is not for problem solving enthusiasts.
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