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Linear Algebra (2nd Edition) Hardcover – April 25, 1971

31 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0135367971 ISBN-10: 0135367972 Edition: 2nd

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From the Publisher

This introduction to linear algebra features intuitive introductions and examples to motivate important ideas and to illustrate the use of results of theorems.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 407 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 2 edition (April 25, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0135367972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0135367971
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

152 of 155 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a professor of mathematics, I was recently assigned a section of our undergraduate linear algebra course; the last time I taught the course was twelve years ago. While doing the obligatory search for a course text, I have been surprised to see how the first course in linear algebra for mathematicians and scientists has "evolved" since I last taught it, at least insofar as that evolution is reflected through available and popular textbooks.

In one of the more popular linear algebra texts currently on the market (I will refrain from naming it), the formal definition of a vector space does not even occur until page 198, and this is not atypical. Looking through half a dozen of the more popular texts, one finds lengthy introductory chapters on vectors in R^n and their properties, basic matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, special algorithms for computing determinants and matrix inverses in efficient time, and significant space devoted to special matrix factorizations, such as the LU factorization. I would like to point out, without passing judgment, that this has not always been the case. Over time, the undergraduate course in linear algebra for mathematicians and scientists has evidently acquired a partial resemblance to the computational, non-proof-based course in "Matrix Algebra" that used to be offered to "casual users" of this area of mathematics at nearly all major universities.

Hoffman and Kunze's book was written for the undergraduate linear algebra course at MIT in the 1960s. Those of us who pursued graduate study in mathematics in the 1970s saw copies of this text, with its vivid purple stripes down the cover, on the shelves of virtually every serious graduate student.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By David A. Johannsen on October 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic book on linear algebra. Not only does it cover abstract vector spaces through the Jordan canonical form, but takes the reader through complex inner-product spaces and the Spectral Theorem as well. For the reader who has the mathematical sophistication, this is a great book. Excellent preparation for the student planning to attend graduate school.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By R. Sun on April 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This was the textbook they used to use at MIT in the past few decades. Virtually, however, nobody uses this book in a regular undergraduate course anymore. Instead of developing the ideas in the familiar context of the real numbers, Hoffman and Kunze give a more abstract (and general) discussion. For example, the theorems about determinants work in all commutative rings. The rigorousness and the wealth of information are overwhelming for most undergraduates to handle. You will not learn anything if you just glance through the pages. Every line requires deep thought. Down-to-earth applications are not included. So I do not recommend this book for engineers.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Francisco X. Mancheno on March 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I got this book for my Linear Algebra class about four years ago. This is a great book if you are getting a degree in mathematics. It won't help if you are just trying to get by the class and don't like math. It is not very practical but if you are looking for a real math book on Linear Algebra this is it. It contains a wealth of theorems that only a math lover would appreciate. If you really want to learn about Linear Algebra from a rigorous mathematical point of view this is it. This book taught me so much.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By U of M Math Student on December 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I will start with the positives of this book:

This book seems to cover all of the right material that an undergrad must know. This book has complete discussions on everything from matrix manipulation, to eigenvalues, to opertors on inner product spaces, and it even gets into bilinear algebra at the end. Every undergrad wishing to go on to grad school must know just about everything in this book, and the fact that everything is packed into one book certainly is nice. Whenever I want to check how to calculate something, or look up a thoerem, I know for sure that it will be in this book. For this reason, this is a book that will be difficult to outgrow. It is also nice that this book has a lengthy discussion of detemriants that goes well beyond proving that det(AB)=det(A)det(B), sometihng that is difficult to find in many introductory books.

The problem sets are also nice. They strike a nice blend of calculation and theory, and so students will get plenty of practice in both if they attmept all of the problems. The theoretical problems are all pretty good, nothing too diabolically difficult, but there are not too many trivial ones.

And now for the negatives:

One problem that I see with this book is that it focuses a little too much on matrix representation of everything. While matrices certainly do have their uses in computations, it is quite possible for students to learn to rely so much on matrices that they are unable/uncomfortable with the properties that linear transformations have in of themselves. This not only leaves students useless whenever they are confroted with infinite dimensional spaces, but they also use incredibly awkward and difficult proofs, when simple proofs exist that don't rely on matrices.
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