Most helpful positive review
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A good book but with a few problems
on December 18, 2010
I bought this book to teach myself some process control and just went through the first several chapters. So this review is based on the **limited** exposure to the book and is written by someone with very little prior knowledge on process control.
So far, I'm enjoying the book. It provides necessary mathematics in an easy to digest format and gently breaks into process control. Some flaws I have noticed so far are
1. A large number of typos, not all of which is listed in the Oct.3, 2010 version of errata. Even the errata contains an error. This is not a huge problem if you follow the book with a stack of scratch paper to verify every single step. One would have to do that anyway just to learn from a book. So, perhaps this isn't a huge deal.
2. The Process Control Module advertised in Appendix E is nowhere to be found on the publisher's web page. BTW, why does this appendix refer to the book as if it isn't a part of the book? A little more editing please?
3. Their definition of the step function is incompatible with the properties they assign to the Dirac delta-function. According to their definition, the integral of the delta-function, regarded as the derivative of the step function, from t=0 to t=infinity is zero and not unity. This, seemingly minute, point does create a confusion from time to time, e.g, when extracting the initial condition from an ODE, containing a step function as a perturbation term, by setting t=0. Also these two functions, as defined in the book, violate Eq.(3.9).
4. This is perhaps intentional on the part of the authors. But, CSTR in example 2.5 affords three steady-states. Two are stable but the other is not. Somehow, the authors choose to work with the unstable one. Some comment would be of great help here...
Despite these drawbacks, I do think that the book is well worth the read and actually teaches me something useful. So, I will keep it and read it. It is unfortunate that it tends to impose an undue burden on the readers, though.