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Linear Algebra For Dummies 1st Edition

36 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470430903
ISBN-10: 0470430907
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary Jane Sterling is the author of numerous For Dummies books. She is a lecturer at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, where she has taught courses in algebra, calculus, and other mathematics topics for almost 30 years.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470430907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470430903
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Jane Sterling teaches mathematics at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. She has been teaching mathematics for over 30 years.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By B. P. Ford on January 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I really like the approach of this book, as it uses good analogies, examples, graphs, and figures that appeal to your intuition to give deeper meaning to the subtleties of linear algebra. But it is a shame there are typos and mistakes. One in particular blew my mind - on p. 51 she states " A square matrix is singular if it has a multiplicative inverse; a matrix is non-singular if it does not have a multiplicative inverse." This is exactly opposite of how everyone else defines "singular", but she uses this definition consistently throughout the book, so either it's a mistake or she has decided to rewrite the rules of linear algebra. Either way, it's not helpful!!!

I hate having to make corrections on a book I just paid for, but for the price, what can you expect? Most textbooks on the subject are between two and ten times more expensive, and they have mistakes too. But the other books are dense, dry, and boring. At least this book attempts to make linear algebra interesting, if not fun.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By George F. Adams on November 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good explanations, but a disappointing number of substantive typos that make the examples confusing.

I would recommend this book, particularly as a review for those of us who had the subject in college but have forgotten most of it. Just be careful of those typos and keep a pencil handy to make corrections while the details are fresh in your mind.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By J. M. SINGH on September 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book gives a general good overview. However, there are several errors in the examples provided. For example in page 196, the matrices format does not match the example given with the coordinates in the form of x, y and z.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Leeber Cohen on June 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I just finished the text. It is a nice easy review. The amount of theory and proofs is kept to a minimum which should please those who are less gifted mathematically. The major issues as stated elsewhere are the number of typos and errors which were not caught in the editing process. Many are obvious and easy to fix. I would encourage the editors of this series to be more careful in the proofing. Perhaps it is too expensive given the low purchase price of the texts. Maybe we should all send in a list of errata and they could print a new edition.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ian on October 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just finished this. I bought it as a refresher, as I had basically not done any linear algebra since first year university subjects 35 years ago. For dusting off cobwebs on the major topics of linear algebra, matrices, it was useful, easy to read and clear. I also wanted an intro to vector spaces as I have this hankering, even at my age, to take on some abstract algebra, and needed to get a handle on the basics. So, as I said, useful.

However, the book - as various other reviewers have said - has far too many errors. This is a serious flaw in any work, but is critically harmful in a volume for dummies. Because obviously, we don't know enough often to pick them up so end up learning the wrong things. Fortunately my cobwebs dusted off sufficiently for me to pick up the ones I saw. But being a dummy, how do I know now what other things I have absorbed that are in fact wrong? This is a very worrying situation. It is not good enough.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By salvarsan on June 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You will learn _about_ linear algebra, but you won't *do* linear algebra with this book.
It gives few worked examples and has no problem sets with which you can test yourself.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Taylor on December 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
College was a long time ago - I needed a refresher to do my job; this provided it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Danna Niedzwiecki on November 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent resource for anyone currently enrolled in a linear algebra course. I often need to have several different explanations before I thoroughly understand a new concept and this book provides clear, easy to understand explanations that clarified many topics for me. Would highly recommend this book!
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