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Customer Review

121 of 129 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as super as some make it to be. Buy the cheaper older edition., June 22, 2008
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This review is from: Div, Grad, Curl, and All That: An Informal Text on Vector Calculus (Fourth Edition) (Paperback)
I picked this book up, based on the reviews that said it would explain vector calculus to "engineers". I probably read the book 3 times, but I never felt I really _understood_ the material. A few years later, I think I do understand the material; looking at the book, many of the things I read seem obvious now. I feel this is where most of the reviewers were coming from...

The book is great if you already know the material, and just need a nice, unifying refresher. It is not that great for learning it the first time, since there is very little application of the material, and for me that is what motivates me to understand something. Morse & Feshbach is much more rigorous and dense, but that is where it first "clicked" for me. Also, I think this book is supposed to be in tandem with a more standard Calculus reference. Between two books one might have a better time at figuring things out.

There are a few very good figures in the book that have helped me understand some key concepts (the flowchart relating the different operators and their associated assumptions), but the lack of rigor and general long-windedness of the book could actually be considered a fault, rather than a benefit "for engineers".

Also, buy the cheapest edition of this book you can find. They are all basically the same (only the problems and very minor wording change between editions). Don't think you need to get the latest edition, get a cheaper earlier edition.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 14, 2008 12:23:10 PM PST
I agree with this review, if you do not know this material, you will probably not learn it from this book. I really tried to like it, but have to give it only 2 1/2 stars, as a reference source.

Posted on Dec 7, 2011 3:02:55 AM PST
This is a first class review!

Posted on Feb 24, 2012 8:35:11 PM PST
Marc Mest says:
Very helpful review and I did buy the older version. Your review and advice is spot on.

Thanks
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