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Showing 1-10 of 184 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 322 reviews
on January 18, 2015
Save yourself a few hundred bucks and buy the 9th edition used for $15. I have seen the 10th edition and the material is 97% the same - they didn't even change the numbers in the problems.

Now, the book "feels" closer to a science book than a math book. That is, definitions and equations are embedded in blocks of text as opposed to being neatly presented in a table. The techniques are taught by example with very little explanation. The worst part is that they will skip the manual computations and jump straight to Maple, not very helpful for exams! It would be infuriating if this text was used for self study. Thankfully, there is a ton of differential equation material out there.
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on July 24, 2015
I really did not enjoy this book and would advise anyone who is not required to use it to stay away from it.

Are you interested in math? Do you want to see some math theory behind differential equations? If yes to either of those questions, stay clear of Boyce's diff eq. book. This book takes you through a world of learning methods and memorizing tricks in order to solve a whole lot of differential equations that, quite honestly, are so clearly devoid of any interesting properties. If you just want to memorize how to solve an equation of form x, this'll be a great book for you but be warned, you'll never have any idea how to solve a DE that you haven't been familiarized with because there's barely any real math in here.

Bear in mind that I am studying physics and not math. A lot of physicists tend to like when things are not so mathematically rigorous but this book is a huge leap beyond even that. You'll move from learning one technique to another and then on to those horribly stupid tank problems (which you'll be familiarized with in every ODE class, unfortunately).

The one single saving grace for this book, and the sole reason for me not giving it one star, is that it is incredibly easy. I've run into my fair share of books that were pedagogically disastrous and then difficult on top of that, leading to a huge amount of frustration for the reader. This, luckily, is really one of the easiest textbooks I've ever used. For those who recall high school math classes where homework consisted of solving hundreds of identical problems each night, this will be familiar. The problems are un-original most of the time and almost always repetitive. So generally speaking, if you've solved one problem in a chapter, you've solved them all.

All that being said, I want to really caution anyone considering this book - really try to stay away if you can. It's an awful book and the only thing you'll come out with at the end of it are a whole bunch of techniques that you probably won't remember anyway.
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on December 22, 2014
When I first received this textbook, I thought that it was going to be terrible based on the past reviews and the examples throughout the book. However, as I went through this book with my class I started to notice a few things not clearly seen from a first inspection. While it is true that the authors seems to ramble on aimlessly about solutions to the problems they face within each section of a given chapter, they do actually give a definite solution in the form of a theorem. Most students, such as I, will probably not understand at least half of what the authors are trying to get at in each section. But the theorems the authors write are a different story. My recommendation if your just trying to pass your differential equations class is just to read the theorems listed in each section. The examples in each section seem to be a learning example trying to teach you the basic concepts. However without a teacher to back you up, these examples will just incite more questions from the students that would be unanswered since a textbook can not respond to a student's immediate questions. If the student has time, they should read the wall of text in the book to truly understand what the authors are trying to poke at. This book requires full knowledge of solving derivatives and integrals as the authors assume the students will know how to solve them, hence there will be no solutions of them in the examples. It does however give a review over a few topics that will be required to know in order to proceed through with certain sections such as power series and matrices. Obviously this book is not the best, but given a chance it still does a fine job of teaching a student the complicated nature of differential equations.
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on June 20, 2013
The text in this book is almost incomprehensible at times. You really learn the most from the given examples, and the more decent solutions in the solutions manual (which i HIGHLY recommend for this course). There are some sections that are just much too difficult to understand due to the content itself. (like chapter 5 section 3). Its difficult for me to put all of the blame on the author's because the subject is very difficult to teach regardless. There are parts of the book where reading becomes a waste of time due to the language used by the author. There is not much of an attempt to "dumb down" the writing, or atleast simplify concepts enough for students to grasp onto. There are paragraphs of high level mathematical jargin that would be over the head of most students, but overall, this book can and will get you through the course. My professor was as bad as this book and i made out with an A. I suggest doing as many problems as you can make time for because there are a lot of different kinds of problems in this course, and it can be difficult to keep the procedures straight for each kind...A good thing about this book is that the final solution for every single problem is provided in the back, so you can always confirm whether your solution is correct or not...if it isnt, consult the solutions manual. If you did well in calc 2, this is the course for you...its just a lot of mechanical, plug and chug, pure math.
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on June 14, 2015
Thorough and well written work emphasizing the applied aspects of Ordinary Differential Equations without requiring the reader or student using the book to be exposed to or steeped in Mathematical Analysis. Excellent for students of Engineering and the Sciences, e.g., Physics. A bit of Partial Differential Equations, limited to linear second order types (e.g., the Heat Equation), and extensions such as Nonlinear Ordinary Differential Equations and Sturm-Liouville Theory are included as optional or follow-on topics on an introductory basis for more advanced studies.

The edition I purchased, the 7th, is a expanded version of the 4th, 5th and 6th editions. Unlike the earlier editions, e.g., the 4th, there are more mistakes, especially in the solutions in the back of the book, and occasionally in type-set equations throughout the various chapters. For brevity, clarity and precision, I prefer the older editions, e.g., the 4th edition.

All in all, the book is well written and time honored for those intending to attain at least a junior or third year undergraduate background in Ordinary Differential Equations without requiring one to have as prerequisites in, say, introductory Complex Variables. The book tends to be self-contained as topics are laid out in a fairly straightforward manner without referring excessively to other or more advanced works.
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on April 5, 2017
Like most mathematics textbooks, I don't find this one to be very helpful.
I am great at math, and I love it, but the textbooks really need to be structured differently.
I have a hard time staying focused on it.

It does have fairly good examples though.
Avoid it if you can.
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on October 20, 2016
If you need to buy this book for a class, get another book as well. Here are a few reasons you should avoid this book if you can.

1. Definitions:
The definitions in this book are not clearly stated. A book that does not have rigorous definitions to start from is not a real math book. Definitions in this book show up as bold words, often in a sentence talking about something else.

2. Theorems:
The theorems are not self contained. Theorems often reference equations in other parts of the chapter by their number. Theorems are also used very sparingly. Often entire chapters go by without stating a theorem. Obviously most of this book is not conjecture. It is just poor writing on the authors' part to not back up or clearly state what they are saying.

3. Wordy:
Looking up something simple like the Euler algorithm takes 20 minutes. An internet search takes 2. That would be okay if there was more depth provided for that 18 minutes. There wasn't.

4. Price:
Right now this book costs over $200. Much more talented expositors on differential equations exist. Their books are often free or cheap.

5. Content:
There is simply not enough content in this book to stand alone as an introduction to the subject. The work problems are decent, but it is not Halmos' Linear Algebra Problem Book. Without a good professor one should be wary of what they are missing out on.

*for context I am a math and computer science major*
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on July 3, 2013
I personally do not like the writing style of this book. The authors go on winded explanations for paragraphs at a time, and I did not find the examples in the book particularly helpful. I can typically teach myself the majority of a course's material by reading the book, but in this case, it only served to confuse me.

Once my class had gone over the material already, I was able to follow each section of the book, but this was not very useful just from the way I learn and study. I would advise choosing a different book that gives more concise explanations than this.

I do however, need to admit that it goes over a fantastic variety of materials, and has a great deal of good problems at the end of each section, so if you do in fact know what you're doing (at least, more than me), than this book should certainly be very useful to you.
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on January 28, 2016
The book is helpful in the fashion that you're required to purchase this thing for a University Class, and the professor is working way too fast over abstract concepts, and only does one example on the board. The book as a whole is just horrible.

Who ever the editor was, needs to be fired. 10 editions! 10 published copies of this book. And it seems like it just can't be done right. The examples in this book appears to be erratic in organization and is even confusing on the approach.

The book clearly wasn't constructed for students whom are just entering the field for differential equations as it appears to be more of a "handy-dandy" reminder if you can get past some unnecessary contributions to some solutions, or certain solutions just randomly going from start to done.

What's more annoying, was that in the first chapter, section 1.3, there was no explination that could have remotely helped for some of the problems you would see for that section. Are you serious? These people could seriously learn from Pearson McGraw. They might do some BS religious edits, but at least they know how to make a good math book. Full of examples (not just the easy case), clear explinations.

The problems in the book have been pretty helpful... mind you that is after going to a website that has done a good job at working through the entire problem step by step in a clear and unpolluted format. That website is for those looking for help with this thing, and are too cheap to pay for chegg (like me).

I'm only on chapter 2 in my university class right now, and I'm already loathing this book.
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on September 25, 2013
I was forced to buy this book for an introductory differential equations class. If there is any way you are able to avoid getting this, I would do it. The explanations are non-existent, the notation is inconsistent, and there is no logical flow to the book. In just the second chapter, for example, there is an introduction to integrating factors that involves a derivation of a general equation. From there we are told that we can't actually solve it until 3 examples later, when the authors decide to revisit it after other examples.

They interchange y' with dy/dt with d/dt(y), often during the same example, and even during the same step, though the purpose is not to relate the different notations to each other. Unnecessarily confusing during the introductory examples.

There are no explanations of steps in how they derive their solutions, leaving everything to the reader to figure out. Hopefully you have a good teacher who is able to sit by your side and walk you through recognition of the product rule applied in reverse, for example.

This is the first review I've ever written about a textbook. But this book is just that horrible, I couldn't in good conscience stay silent.
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