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Differential Equations (with DE Tools Printed Access Card) Hardcover – April 11, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1133109037 ISBN-10: 1133109039 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning; 4 edition (April 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1133109039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1133109037
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Blanchard is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Boston University. Paul grew up in Sutton, Massachusetts, spent his undergraduate years at Brown University, and received his Ph.D. from Yale University. He has taught college mathematics for twenty-five years, mostly at Boston University. In 2001, he won the Northeast Section of the Mathematical Association of America's Award for Distinguished Teaching in Mathematics. He has coauthored or contributed chapters to four different textbooks. His main area of mathematical research is complex analytic dynamical systems and the related point sets, Julia sets and the Mandelbrot set. Most recently his efforts have focused on reforming the traditional differential equations course, and he is currently heading the Boston University Differential Equations Project and leading workshops in this innovative approach to teaching differential equations. When he becomes exhausted fixing the errors made by his two coauthors, he usually closes up his CD store and heads to the golf course with his caddy, Glen Hall.

Robert L. Devaney is Professor of Mathematics at Boston University. Robert was raised in Methuen, Massachusetts. He received his undergraduate degree from Holy Cross College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He has taught at Boston University since 1980. His main area of research is complex dynamical systems, and he has lectured extensively throughout the world on this topic. In 1996 he received the National Excellence in Teaching Award from the Mathematical Association of America. When he gets sick of arguing with his coauthors over which topics to include in the differential equations course, he either turns up the volume of his opera CDs, or heads for waters off New England for a long distance sail.

Glen R. Hall is Associate Professor of Mathematics at Boston University. Glen spent most of his youth in Denver, Colorado. His undergraduate degree comes from Carleton College and his Ph.D. comes from the University of Minnesota. His research interests are mainly in low-dimensional dynamics and celestial mechanics. He has published numerous articles on the dynamics of circle and annulus maps. For his research he has been awarded both NSF Postdoctoral and Sloan Foundation Fellowships. He has no plans to open a CD store since he is busy raising his two young sons. He is an untalented, but earnest, trumpet player and golfer. He once bicycled 148 miles in a single day.

Customer Reviews

I admit that I may be biased.
Casey M Wood
So -- it's very poorly organized and lacks coherence or purpose to this reorganization / disorganization of the material.
Clyde
I had to buy this book for a class and I hope no one else has to because it is useless.
Nathaniel Marks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter on December 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had to get this for a course next semester, and have started to go through it. It seems quite good, but I'll update this review in May with my final conclusions when I've read and done it all.

The reviewers who don't like it should read the first two paragraphs of the preface, which explain clearly why the authors tried something different. If anyone wants a classic ODE textbook or reference book, there's hardly a lack of them; in particular Dover has some very good and inexpensive textbooks. My personal opinion, coming back to math after 30+ years, is that it's rather hidebound, and given the poor record math departments have of attracting and retaining students, a change would do it good. There could well be people who study ODEs for their intrinsic interest, from a pure math perspective, but they have got to be a tiny minority. Most students will benefit most from learning to understand how to use ODEs, what they tell you, and how to get solutions, for science and engineering applications. That's what this book appears to be focused on. In particular, since it seeks to explain modeling with differential equations, the hardest step of which is how to map from reality to model (just as with junior high school word problems). That part of modeling is not primarily mathematical, so the language of discourse has to be natural language, not math itself. This is the first book I've used that makes any serious (if introductory) effort to explain that step, and I appreciate it.

As for the price, agreed, it's ridiculous. The American textbook industry deserves a revolt by the masses, and over time will get one, just as the recording industry got one. One problem is that many teachers are oblivious to the price of the books they choose--some literally do not know the price and do not make the trivial effort required nowadays to find out. Of course the education industry deserves a revolt by the masses too...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Corliss on August 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I took a first-semester ODE course in which we used this book. Man, it was painful. The book takes the simplest concepts and stretches them to 12 or 16 pages. The book's systematic lack of boxed formulae and algorithms makes it very hard to get a concrete knowledge of the subject. Instead, the student is left pouring through page after page of text trying to discern the facts. Mathematics texts should be crisp, clear, and factual. But this book is almost like diff eq for humanities majors. The standard methods of separation of variables, integrating factors, locating perturbation values, and the method of undetermined coefficients are described in vague terms without necessary detail. I found it very difficult to gain lasting knowledge from this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Cantor on August 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In my opinion, it would be difficult to find a better introductory text for ordinary differential equations. I have been teaching differential equations courses for many years and have used this text from the first edition to the (current) fourth. Prior to that I tried a number of alternative texts but was never happy with any of them.

This text is a modern introduction to the topic. By that I mean it exposes and exploits the geometric nature of differential equations. This is a huge improvement over many other texts at this level. Frankly, the "old style" of presenting the topic made it look like a collection of party tricks - and a narrow collection at that. Students suffering with those texts never got a real feel for the topic and its many applications. The techniques presented often completely ignored any reference to the geometry which is so important in understanding what the topic is really like.

Many of the other reviews of the book are the usual tired student complaints about a book they could not understand or appreciate. One wonders if any of these folks were really prepared for such a course. Probably not.

If you're an instructor looking for a fresh approach to differential equations, pick up a copy - you may never go back!
If you're a student about to take a course from this text, rest assured that, if you survive the course, you will have a solid understanding of the basic ideas in the topic.

Finally, there is a software package which comes with the book which offers students the opportunity to tinker with some equations in a phase plane setting. Very useful.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl on November 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I really want to give this book 0 stars, but that is not an option.

This book is very special. While it seems like it would be a great place to start learning Dif Eq, it fails even this basic task. The authors spend more (way too much) time describing the background to word problems instead of actually working through the problem. (In Chapter 2, one problem took up three pages. Two of them were text describing the problem and the author's views. The last page was another paragraph on how to solve it and then a graph. No Math!) When they do finally get around to working through an example, they gloss over it, skip steps, and make things up. They give too few examples and the examples they do give are basic. The problems in the chapters are more challenging and sometimes, for example in chapter 3 review, do not even cover subjects that are in the section or chapter. On several occasions, the authors try to be funny and write jokes into their very long winded explainations of nothing, but they come off as cocky.

The authors assume you know some basic concepts such as how to draw a phase portrait, direction, and slope fields. However, these concepts are taught in Dif Eq. The authors on several occasions ask you to draw a phase portrait, but never actually, anywhere in the textbook, explain how this is done. I had to consult another text for the math behind the portraits. They also never explain how to acheive the x(t) and y(t) graphs for solutions in chapter 3. I figured this out through trial and error with my graphing calculator.

If you do have to get this textbook for a class, I very highly recommend that you get the student solutions manual as well.
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