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Computational Science and Engineering 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
My second review for this journal  was of Gilbert Strang's Introduction to Applied Mathematics (hereafter IAM). I have never been too happy with that review, where I said that it is a "wonderful book." True enough; but more appropriately, it is an important book, as is the book reviewed here, Computational Science and Engineering (hereafter CSE).
CSE is--and is not--a second edition of IAM. Apparently, it is the result
of more than 20 years of Strang teaching his favorite course at MIT,
presumably out of IAM. Since CSE does not contain everything in IAM
and also contains topics not in IAM, it is a different text. CSE contains
Strang's further ruminations on the nature of applied mathematics, and
I view it as the superior text, but some individuals might prefer IAM. To
some extent, either book represents Strang's philosophy of teaching applied mathematics--that we need a new approach--but this conviction is much more explicit in CSE.
In particular, Strang believes that we should focus on both modeling and
computation. Many books are about one or the other, and he feels that applied mathematics is both. Furthermore, Strang believes that applied problems tend to have a common structure, and Chapter 2 is devoted to illustrating this principle through a wide variety of problems.
In my review of IAM, I tried to give an idea of the range of topics without enumerating the contents. CSE has the same difficulty: Enumerating the topics is tedious, but the titles of the chapters are informative (though listing them does not do justice to the sheer range of content):
1. Applied Linear Algebra
2.Read more ›
However, note that these are _lectures_ and consciously written as such (Strang takes a great deal of - entirely justifiable, if you check him out on youtube - pride in his classroom teaching), which means that there are occasional leaps (no bad thing, they make you think), minor lacunae, forward references and so on, all of which would be dealt with in a lecture as casual asides. If you don't want to deal with this sort of thing without him in the room with you, there may be other books out there that are more suitable (though I sort of doubt it).
So, my suggestion for you is as follows. Pick up the book from a library. And go straight to a topic that you are somewhat familiar with. And try to see if Prof. Strang does an excellent job on that topic. I did that for a few of them, and I found that the book is not sufficient explaining those topics.
By the way, for CG method neither the book nor the video lectures are very useful. You will need the article by Jonathan Richard Shewchuk. You can find it online. This is the best for CG.
For someone who has prior knowledge in CSE or applied mathematics, this book is good. Keep it in your shelf and read it to enjoy the beauty of the subject, not to learn from it.
This book is not any where close to Strang's linear algebra book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While I've only used this text for a couple of weeks, I find that it supports the MIT 18.085 video lectures nicely (which is it's purpose). Read morePublished 8 months ago by Asa R. Gawthrop
Great book, great professor. His lectures on MIT Open Courseware and this book got me an A+ in Applied Mathematics.Published 8 months ago by akareta
Purchased book to help me follow the online MIT 18-085 lecture series by Strang. Am only five lectures into the series and have found the book to be helpful. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lyman
This was a pretty cheap price but the spine is already starting to rip.Published 10 months ago by John Reichert
As always, W. Gilbert Strang is a master at explaining difficult concepts
He covers all relevant material including a quick overview of the basic introductory linear algebra... Read more
I bought this book as a go-to reference. Invaluable for Chemical Engineering simulation research. Purchased as a desired textbook, not a required one.Published on March 23, 2013 by Melinda H. Hansen
This book tries to mash so much between the covers that Strang fails to start from the fundamentals and work systematically towards the solution/theorem. Read morePublished on March 6, 2013 by mittim13
Haven't gone through much of this book yet. But I'm looking forward to it.
Prof Gilbert Strang is a Jem in his Linear Algebra course and book, so I'm expecting the same level... Read more
Textbook is very well organized, revealing related concepts in an orderly fashion for easy assimilation. I am fan of Prof. Read morePublished on September 13, 2012 by Charles Nail