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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe i'm just biased...
I'm biased because i had the good fortune to take Intro to Numeric Analysis from Ken Atkinson himself. I beta-tested this edition of the text, so my copy is in a loose-leaf binder.
Some reviewers have complained that the book is difficult because examples are in FORTRAN rather than C. I disagree. The real meat of the book is written in mathematical form; what...
Published on January 28, 2002 by Dave Stagner

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Elementary Numerical Analysis Text
Just so you know the source of this review and whether or not you should bother trusting me (hmm..maybe not?):
Ph.D. student in Statistics at Iowa State University.
B.S. Computer Science
B.A. Mathematics

Research areas: numerical analysis, analysis of large data sets, stochastic processes
Former research areas: truth maintenance systems,...
Published on July 10, 2007 by Leicester Dedlock


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average Elementary Numerical Analysis Text, July 10, 2007
By 
Leicester Dedlock (Ames, IA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elementary Numerical Analysis (Hardcover)
Just so you know the source of this review and whether or not you should bother trusting me (hmm..maybe not?):
Ph.D. student in Statistics at Iowa State University.
B.S. Computer Science
B.A. Mathematics

Research areas: numerical analysis, analysis of large data sets, stochastic processes
Former research areas: truth maintenance systems, microarray analysis, parallel computing

Note: Not a plug. I like my job.

First off, the book's title is very appropriate. It requires extensive knowledge of calculus and linear algebra, but it uses a fairly non-rigorous "easy" approach to numerical analysis. It's not advanced enough for use in a graduate level class, even for non-majors, but it is very useful and appropriate for sophomore/junior undergraduates. Even though the approach is somewhat non-rigorous, the book doesn't avoid proofs, and though a more advanced mathematician or computer scientist would see holes, it's a book that surely feels complete to most undergraduate math/cs majors/minors.

The explanations and proofs are definitely not perfect. The proofs leave out steps that they assume readers should find obvious. Academic types like Atkinson who have spent years of research in this field often forget just how difficult these concepts are to undergraduates, so some of these "obvious" steps are not going to be obvious to all readers and should not have been omitted. Mixed in with the proofs are some straightforward explanations, but often they are not in layman's terms and I remember scratching my head at times. So I would give the explanations and proofs a C-/D+.

The author does a better job at the exercises. This is a difficult topic, so you don't want to have to work out problems that are too difficult, but some challenge is required to attain mastery of the subject. I think that this book accomplishes that goal. The problems are rarely overly difficult, and though most would be trivial to professors or professionals, they provide enough challenge to undergraduates who are new to the field. The author also does a good job at choosing problems which are relevant. This is nice since many (most, actually) mathematics books include many problems which look contrived and whose results seem meaningless. Anyways, I give the exercises an A.

The content is decent, but a LOT is left out. Traditionally, a two-semester sequence includes a class on numerical analysis as it relates to differential equations and a class on numerical analysis as it relates to linear algebra. Preceding discussion of either one of these topics is a necessary discussion of general iterative methods and analysis of computational error. This book covers all of those topics but none of them extensively. For a one-semester overview, the content is perfect and includes more than enough material. For a traditional two-semester sequence, this book is a bit skimpy. As stated before, the book is also not appropriate for graduate level classes. So if you haven't learned functional analysis, then don't worry--this book is for you. I give the content a B-/C+.

I was a bit disappointed with the computing examples. The examples were not poorly chosen, but there were not enough of them. Also, I think that they should have used a programming language which is easy to read even if you don't know the language. I give the computing examples a D+.

Even though I said that this book is inappropriate for graduate classes, it might serve as a nice reference for graduate students. I always skim through it as a review before certain classes. Though it can be nice as a refresher, a graduate student would probably be happier with something more rigorous like Peter Linz's "Theoretical Numerical Analysis: An Introduction to Advanced Techniques" (overview - very short) or Kendall Atkinson's (the author who wrote this book) "Theoretical Numerical Analysis: A Functional Analysis Framework".

Final note: To those who complain that it requires extensive knowledge of calculus, was that not a prerequisite at your school? The calculus required to understand this book and work the problems is not at a high school level, but it's nothing that a student who has passed college univariate and multivariate calculus shouldn't be able to handle.

2.5 stars
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe i'm just biased..., January 28, 2002
By 
I'm biased because i had the good fortune to take Intro to Numeric Analysis from Ken Atkinson himself. I beta-tested this edition of the text, so my copy is in a loose-leaf binder.
Some reviewers have complained that the book is difficult because examples are in FORTRAN rather than C. I disagree. The real meat of the book is written in mathematical form; what source he provides is merely a convenience. When i took his class, most of the students (myself included) implemented in C rather than FORTRAN. No problem, because he was looking for correct results, not reviewing code.
And yes, this book assumes a solid knowledge of calculus, linear algebra, basic differential equations, and discrete logic. Did you think you'd be able to code mathematics without *understanding* it? If you understand the math in the first place, his implementations are very clear. If you don't understand the math, no amount of clarity will save you.
The real beauty, for me, was how he logically built a progression of topics, with each step providing the foundation for the next one. It was like seeing two years of college math in miniature.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive but not very useful, May 11, 2014
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This review is from: Elementary Numerical Analysis (Hardcover)
First off, this touches on just about every possible topic in Numerical Analysis.
The problem is that it gives long descriptions, long derivations, but very few useful equations. Just before describing applicability it goes into a generalized example that doesn't fully utilize what it spent pages deriving. So it explains a lot but doesn't provide many useful equations for applying things, it basically expects you to base your own formula off what it derives. I didn't find may examples particularly useful.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars will need supplimentation, September 16, 2004
This review is from: Elementary Numerical Analysis (Hardcover)
Of course this book assumes (advanced?) knowledge of Calc 1 & 2 as well as linear algebra and preferably Dif. EQ. These are all prerequisites for the course in which the book is used. That being said, it is quite annoying when the book *completely* skips over intermediate steps involving calculus leaving the student scratching his head. I find myself with my nose more in my Calc. books trying to figure out what the steps leading to the answer rather than learning Num. Analysis. Would have been nice if at least some intermediate steps were added to most problems, but hey, this is college and hand holding should not be assumed.

There are 3 main gripes which contribute to the low rating.

1. The Cost. For the price of the book, (considering the way the material is presented (see 2.) there should be a solution manual bundled with it. (see 3.)

2. The explanations of the material is cut and dry and not verbose at all, [which adds 2 stars to an original 0 rating] however, there is usually only one example for a topic, followed by 10-15 excercises associated with that topic. This often leads to pure frustration and having to "google" for supplimentary material to help me through the problems due to the fact that the example is far more elemantary than the excercises.

3. Lack of solutions. Coupled with the lack of GOOD examples is the lack of solutions for the excercises you just struggled to drudge through. Chapters that typically have 10-15 problems, some with sub-problems in them usually have 5 or so solutions in the back. (so if there is say question 1, parts a-h, question 2, question 3 a - k....there would be a solution for question 1 part c, question 3 part g...).

If you take this course and this is the required text, pray that your professor has great lectures and notes(neither of which my prof. has) or be prepared to spend many hours on google looking for other references.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Quality, Great Price, September 15, 2013
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This textbook is the correct one and has all of the information that it is supposed to have. I couldn't even tell that this book has been used before: the quality is perfect. Best of all, the price is significantly lower than that of your typical college bookstore. I paid only 1/4 to 1/7 of what I could have ended up paying at the bookstore just to RENT!
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3.0 out of 5 stars it has a lot of helpful codes/examples, May 21, 2014
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This review is from: Elementary Numerical Analysis (Hardcover)
i use this book often as an applied math major, and it has been a great reference for me for codes or examples. it just doesnt explain certain concepts very well, and it should go more in depth when it comes to certain numerical methods.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book!, March 1, 2013
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This review is from: Elementary Numerical Analysis (Hardcover)
Very good math text! Gets straight to the point and does so in a very clear manner! Cuts out most of the calculus fat that can be found in regular calculus books. Very modular approaches.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos!, April 10, 2013
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This review is from: Elementary Numerical Analysis (Hardcover)
The book came earlier than expected at a much more affordable price --> Brand New! I will be a returning customer!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst textbook. Please don't choose the course if this is the required text., April 22, 2011
This review is from: Elementary Numerical Analysis (Hardcover)
This book basically gives no proper examples and solutions. If at all there are examples, they don't show the steps in between. The problem is given and there are 2 or 3 intermediate steps and then he gives the answer to the problem, but the problem might be having around 10 or 12 intermediate steps. I din't find this book helpful at all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, July 12, 2014
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This review is from: Elementary Numerical Analysis (Hardcover)
Clear and concise, answer bank is not that large.
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Elementary Numerical Analysis
Elementary Numerical Analysis by Kendall E. Atkinson (Hardcover - October 27, 2003)
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