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Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 4th Edition Hardcover – January 20, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0321385178 ISBN-10: 0321385179 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 4th edition (January 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321385179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321385178
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David C. Lay holds a B.A. from Aurora University (Illinois), and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles. Lay has been an educator and research mathematician since 1966, mostly at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has also served as a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam, the Free University in Amsterdam, and the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. He has over 30 research articles published in functional analysis and linear algebra.

As a founding member of the NSF-sponsored Linear Algebra Curriculum Study Group, Lay has been a leader in the current movement to modernize the linear algebra curriculum. Lay is also co-author of several mathematics texts, including Introduction to Functional Analysis, with Angus E. Taylor, Calculus and Its Applications, with L.J. Goldstein and D.I. Schneider, and Linear Algebra Gems-Assets for Undergraduate Mathematics, with D. Carlson, C.R. Johnson, and A.D. Porter.

Professor Lay has received four university awards for teaching excellence, including, in 1996, the title of Distinguished Scholar-Teacher of the University of Maryland. In 1994, he was given one of the Mathematical Association of America's Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. He has been elected by the university students to membership in Alpha Lambda Delta National Scholastic Honor Society and Golden Key National Honor Society. In 1989, Aurora University conferred on him the Outstanding Alumnus award. Lay is a member of the American Mathematical Society, the Canadian Mathematical Society, the International Linear Algebra Society, the Mathematical Association of America, Sigma Xi, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Since 1992, he has served several terms on the national board of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences.

Customer Reviews

And I did good in my Linear Algebra class.
Sashi
Well guess what textbook I can be sassy too and just take you and throw you out of my window.
Hopelessly Lost
This book is very well written, and expresses all concepts in a clear and precise manner.
Brayden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ramon Barbosa Rosa on June 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Linear Algebra is not an easy topic, in especially because many concepts are not intuitive. So I struggled a lot to master some abstract concepts like Linear Transformation, Vector Space and Subspaces. As far I'm concerned, David Lay's book is the only one that explains these concepts with clear and didactic figures. For example, I was able to understand what really a Kernel was and a Range only after had reading the text and figure 2 at page 204 of the fourth edition. In my opinion is the best book for self-study to undergraduate and first-year graduate students.Linear Algebra and Its Applications (4th Edition)
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G.X. Larson on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In my opinion the reviews on this site do not reflect the true rating of this book. I can't compare this book to other linear algebra textbooks but I can say that I am glad that the linear algebra course that I took had this as the assigned book. Theorems, definitions, and other key points are expressed clearly and even vividly (all theorems and definitions are enclosed in a colored box so that the reader can easily find them). The pictures/graphics are also an excellent feature to Lay's book, and I know that I benefited from being able to visualize certain concepts. Here is a reproduction of the table of contents (since amazon doesn't have a "look inside" for this book; a more detailed table of contents can be found at the publisher's website):

1. Linear Equations in Linear Algebra
2. Matrix Algebra
3. Determinants
4. Vector Spaces
5. Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors
6. Orthogonality and Least Squares
7. Symmetric Matrices and Quadratic Forms
8. The Geometry of Vector Spaces

Chapter 8 is a new addition, and was not included in the 3rd edition (we didn't cover it in my class, but I remember seeing stuff like Bezier curves in that chapter). Speaking as a student, I liked how this textbook started off slow and gradually built up towards more complex topics. That's not to say that the initial chapters are fluff; they were covered in a rigorous manner which allows the student to build on each new logical concept from the previous ones. I also liked the many applied examples that Lay included: even if you never use linear algebra again (but chances are that you will, if you're taking linear algebra in the first place) you will appreciate applications such as Markov chains and linear regression.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nicole on January 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used it for a lin alg class, however I could have easily used it for self study. It has quite a few multiple choice questions after each section, that forces you to think about the more abstract concepts rather than doing straight computation. It highlights a lot of key points in charts which is great for review.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Samsonid on December 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We were forced to use this textbook for class, but overall it seems I found myself going to the library and getting the information from other textbooks. Its chapters are organized (or rather disorganized) in a confusing manner that just would not flow for me.
He does make good use of pictorial figures to illustrate the concepts, but the text itself although the language and proofs flow alright once you get really into them, the overall impression is like watching one of those movies that jumps from scene to scene without rhyme or reason hoping that you will put it all together at the very end somehow. Maybe. He focuses too much on the tree and forgets about the forest.

In the end, I just put this book aside and paced myself throughout the course using David Poole's Linear algebra (a much much better organized text; it actually starts from the beginning, with vectors, and then systems of linear equations along with historical notes of how these concepts came to be and then combines the two in a functional pedagogic fashion.) Lay on the other hand just starts from the middle of things, occasionally jumps to the end of things and somewhere in the mid-book he talks about dot products and vectors (essentially he is using the concept of vector without introducing it first, yet if he assumes we should know all about them, then why talk about dot products at all ?) He talks about dimension, basis, and Rank in Chapter 2 for several sections and then he talks about Vec Spaces, Dimension, Basis, Rank again in Ch 4 ... maybe just for the shake of Deja-vu.

Reading Lay ended up being just a pile of disconnected concepts in my head.
Not recommended
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mike S. on July 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have not compared this against other Linear Algebra texts. I used if for my class, so I can only compare it against the other math books I have used. While I don't think it is possible for a straight up textbook to be as readable as a supplement or as easy to follow as a good lecture, this one was not bad either. It does not spoon feed you the information, but it explains the concepts well enough and gives enough examples where after reading through it and going to lecture (depending of course on how good a lecturer your teacher is) you can get through most of the problems without that much difficulty. It does have a lot of problems in the problem set where it calls for you to do a proof. Those are definitely the hardest questions, but for the computations, and the things that are most likely to be on an exam, that material is easy to follow.
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Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 4th Edition
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