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Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers (Dover Books on Mathematics) Paperback – September 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0486676203 ISBN-10: 048667620X Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Mathematics
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048667620X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486676203
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Partial Differential Equations & Beyond
Stanley J. Farlow's Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers is one of the most widely used textbooks that Dover has ever published. Readers of the many Amazon reviews will easily find out why. Jerry, as Professor Farlow is known to the mathematical community, has written many other fine texts — on calculus, finite mathematics, modeling, and other topics. We followed up the 1993 Dover edition of the partial differential equations title in 2006 with a new edition of his An Introduction to Differential Equations and Their Applications. Readers who wonder if mathematicians have a sense of humor might search the internet for a copy of Jerry's The Girl Who Ate Equations for Breakfast (Aardvark Press, 1998).

Critical Acclaim for Partial Differential Equations for Scientists and Engineers:
"This book is primarily intended for students in areas other than mathematics who are studying partial differential equations at the undergraduate level. The book is unusual in that the material is organized into 47 semi-independent lessonsrather than the more usual chapter-by-chapter approach.

"An appealing feature of the book is the way in which the purpose of each lesson is clearly stated at the outset while the student will find the problems placed at the end of each lesson particularly helpful. The first appendix consists of integral transform tables whereas the second is in the form of a crossword puzzle which the diligent student should be able to complete after a thorough reading of the text.

"Students (and teachers) in this area will find the book useful as the subject matter is clearly explained. The author and publishers are to be complimented for the quality of presentation of the material." — K. Morgan, University College, Swansea


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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This is the best intro there is...
Nicholas
Covers a lot of ground, conceptually it's extremely well organized, and the explanations are very easy to follow.
Alberto Dominguez
I highly recommend this book; it is so helpful especially if you want to self-study PDE.
Al-Azri

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 97 people found the following review helpful By raddy@bu.edu on May 6, 1998
Format: Paperback
We all had to go through the drudgery of PDE's in undergraduate courses and except if you're a math major your knowledge of the methods of solution will probably stop at separation of variables, Laplace transform and D'Alembert. This book is an excellent review of a host of methods for solution but what is more important is the physical interpretation of the PDE's the author insists on. Most of the physical examples are drawn from the fields of heat and mechanics but they can be easily applied to electromagnetic and semiconductor charge transport problems. Every aspiring senior in an engineering discipline should study this book for his own good.
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Alberto Dominguez on May 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Unbeatable as far as breadth. Covers a lot of ground, conceptually it's extremely well organized, and the explanations are very easy to follow. This text is ideal for self-study.
The two major shortcomings are (1) slight lack of depth and (2) the exercises, which are far too few and far too simple.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By arpard fazakas on February 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you'd like to teach yourself the subject of partial differential equations, and you have a decent background in calculus and ordinary differential equations, this book is perfect. It is composed of 47 chapters each of which is only a few pages long and covers an important topic, with exercises. The author is very good at explaining potentially complicated ideas in simple terms. It's all very practical, with no theorems or proofs. At the end of each chapter is suggested reading for exploring the topic in more detail. An auto-didact couldn't ask for more. I had so much fun going through this book!

One of the reviewers mentioned that the answers to the exercises had a lot of errors, and I agree. I've listed the ones I found below, with the caveat that maybe a "typo" reflects my faulty understanding. You can decide for yourself. Other than this, I can't find anything to criticize in this marvelous book.

Some specific comments:

Table 13-2: although the separation of variables method is listed as being inapplicable to nonhomogeneous boundary conditions, in fact it can be used to solve Dirichlet problems on a rectangle with one non-homogeneous boundary.

Lesson 32 p. 251: Laplacian in spherical coordinates fourth term should be cot(phi), not cot(theta).

Lesson 39 p. 320: step 2 of implicit algorithm for heat problem: u11 and u16 should be zero, not 1, so first and fourth equations equal zero, not 1, and final result is u22 and u25 are 0.2, not 0.6, and u23 and u24 are 0.6, not 0.8. These results are closer to the results given by the analytic solution u=pi/4 times sum n odd sin(n pi x)/n times exp(-n^2 pi^2 t).

Lesson 41 p. 338: step 3, the coefficients of the new canonical form are computed from equations (41.3), not (41.5).
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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Atul Sharma on May 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Partial differential equations can be obscure, and are often not dealt with at all at the undergraduate level. Assuming only a reasonable familiarity with calculus and ordinary differential equations, this book is extraordinarily clear and even enjoyable. Divided into neat, digestible segments suitable for self-study, I found it a very useful introduction to PDE's, covering a very broad range of topics and examples. My only suggestion for improvement would be a more up-to-date review of numeric methods using a computer algebra system. Nonetheless, even this section (examples intended to be worked by hand) is very clear and makes alternate texts much easier to absorb. I would recommend it to anyone wishing to be more comfortable with PDEs.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Math Student on November 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I used this book in an undergraduate course, and since I couldn't see the board during lectures, I relied on only the book and it was very easy to read and understand. The major drawback of this book, and I don't know if this accounts for it's abnormally low price, is that there seem to be far more errors in the solutions than most books have. About 100 pages into the book, I had encountered so many errors, that thereafter whenever my solutions were different from the solutions in the book, I wondered first if the book was wrong, not if I had done something wrong.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Math Prof on October 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I teach an intro course in PDE regularly and, although I don't use this as the main textbook, it is required reading for the course. Given its approach, its mathematical rigor is not quite right for the course that I teach, and it could use more interesting exercises. That said, it is indispensable for its physical and visual insights. It's brief and to-the-point and a cursory reading gives a wonderful introduction to the various topics and ideas of PDEs. The book is well written, and the informal writing matches the approach. And - the price is right!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Sot P. Filopoulos on September 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
As the title implies, this book is not intended to mathematicians, although it could finely serve as additional text for them, too. On the other hand it is excellent as an itroductory overview of the types of PDE's met and the methods used for their solution. There are references to more advanced texts for the interested, excercises in each chapter and, most importantly, nice, qualitative remarks on the properties of mathematical tools (like Fourier and Laplace transform) which help the reader to comprehend them.
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