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Linear Algebra With Mathematica (Brooks/Cole Symbolic Computation)

1 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0534130688
ISBN-10: 0534130682
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Product Details

  • Series: Brooks/Cole Symbolic Computation
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Brooks/Cole Pub Co (December 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0534130682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0534130688
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,039,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I received a copy of the 10th printing of the first edition, copyrighted in 1995. If you are using Mathematica 3 or 4.+, this book is out of date.
Also, you cannot use this book without understanding linear algebra; that is, you must be taking Lin Alg concurrently. So it is not useful for self-improvement, or fun. If you know Linear Algebra or Mathematica already, this book will not help you.
There are some major problems in the examples. For instance, Johnson writes about For loops in Mathematica, but one example simply produced a runaway calculation (p. 29). Also, (p.37) the Mathematica "manual" row reduction example needs a special warning: if you make an error, you cannot simply go back and correct it by overwriting; you have to return to the beginning. Else, your results with have compound errors embedded.
Problems like these float elsewhere in the book. Too bad.
For students beginning Linear Algebra, a better book (and one we hope gets revised soon) is C-K Cheung et al., Getting Started With Mathematica.
I am sorry that Brooks/Cole and the Wolfram website still market Johnson's out-of-date and error-prone book. If Johnson revises the book, hopefully incorporating Mathematica 4.2, I hope these errors get corrected. At that time I hope I can change this review to a 5*.
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