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Elementary Differential Equations 9th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
For example, this book makes understanding the techniques of variation of parameters and undetermined coefficients ridiculously painful to understand. And don't even get me started on the chapter on Laplace transforms -- I could barely understand a single thing there!
However, it's not all bad. *most* of the earlier chapters' contents are pretty good. Still, there are some murky bits and random theoretical topics addressed only half-heartedly, but for the most part, they're okay.
Also, as I said before, the problems in this book aren't bad! My professor usually assigned suggested problems from the text and doing them really helped me memorize the techniques that I learned from Paul's Online Notes...erm, I mean from the chapter!
So yeah, it's an average, run of the mill, hard-to-understand textbook. If you're required to use it for a class, make sure you pay attention and not skip class thinking that you can learn from the book! If you're looking for a book for self study...well, I guess you can use it for the problems, but for the actual material, don't bother with it, just use Paul's Online Notes or ask for help on math forums or something.
Diff EQ's 1 is a class that most noobs struggle at, just like Calc 2. I've seen hundreds of people struggle with this stuff, (most math and physics majors do just fine, and good engineering students do well, too) and I don't think they are that interested in the material. This stuff takes PRACTICE, and Boyce Diprima has good practice problems. I credit this book and my first Diff EQ teacher for giving me an excellent start in modeling. For the complainers: there are so many damn resources for learning this stuff you shouldn't been wasting your time writing a bad review, use the internet, or one of the thousands of other diff EQ books out there.
If your school/teacher has selected this book, do not be afraid. Instead, read the examples and do your homework, you can get good at setting up and solving these equations. The one area that I think this book is somewhat lacking (and where the teacher should pick up) is ensuring the student can set up ANY dynamical problem. Setting up a DE is more important than solving it. So, this book gets 4 stars because it is good, but lacks in the areas of teaching students a general approach to setting up DEs and it takes a little getting used to. But hey, diff EQs take a little getting used to!
Boyce helps the reader see the connections between first and second order equations and between homogeneous and non homogenous equations by introducing things in order, and having various chapters parallel each other. The book occasionally suffers from extraneous sections (usually at the end of a chapter), and has a tendency to ramble in the text sections. It also gets progressively weaker as chapters go on. One will need a supplementary source for phase portraits, and chapter seven starts well and ends in a jumble. Proofs are both succinct and understandable.
Differential equations is not a particularly difficult subject at the introductory level, but it requires a lot of practice. That's where this book shines. Many practice problems with the answers (not solutions) in the back of the text. This allows students to master the techniques through practice, which is essential to this course. Not without flaws, but overall a great introduction.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a review of chapters 2, 3, and 6, which form a typical one-quarter first course in ODE's. Having taught from this book, I'm not a fan. My complaints:
1. Read more
This book is written with the idea that most people who would need it are comfortable with math. I am not and for me it misses out on explaining things. Read morePublished 9 months ago by P. Sand Ques
The book came quicker than I expected and is working perfectly for the course that I am taking. It came in very good shape too.Published 12 months ago by Sarah Reiser
Cheap, fast and in good condition. Everything I ask for in a textbook!Published 17 months ago by Erin
This textbook does not simplify any of the material. Luckily I had a great teacher who could explain the concepts really well. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Bryan C.