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Elementary Differential Equations 9th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
For example, this book makes understanding the techniques of variation of parameters and undetermined coefficients ridiculously painful to understand. And don't even get me started on the chapter on Laplace transforms -- I could barely understand a single thing there!
However, it's not all bad. *most* of the earlier chapters' contents are pretty good. Still, there are some murky bits and random theoretical topics addressed only half-heartedly, but for the most part, they're okay.
Also, as I said before, the problems in this book aren't bad! My professor usually assigned suggested problems from the text and doing them really helped me memorize the techniques that I learned from Paul's Online Notes...erm, I mean from the chapter!
So yeah, it's an average, run of the mill, hard-to-understand textbook. If you're required to use it for a class, make sure you pay attention and not skip class thinking that you can learn from the book! If you're looking for a book for self study...well, I guess you can use it for the problems, but for the actual material, don't bother with it, just use Paul's Online Notes or ask for help on math forums or something.
1. The large-scale organization of ideas is not clear to the reader. A major cause is that it's written in a "discussion" format, where key definitions and ideas are embedded in walls of text. In an elementary book like this, there's only a few "ideas" per section, but in this book those ideas are not clear and are not easily found. In particular they're almost never in the first few paragraphs of a section.
For example, in the reduction of order section, the only real idea is "let's try the change of variables y=u y_1; awesome!--it works in certain cases like repeated roots and generally amplifies up from one solution to more!". This high-level organization is not at all clear from the text. The rather bizarre reduction of order explanation instead begins in the last page of the section and carries out the computations entirely abstractly before cutting off just before the final step (which produces an admittedly horrific formula, but if you did all the abstract lead-up work, why stop before you're done?). It ends by doing a concrete example, but in all this discussion it never makes the reduction of order algorithm concrete or summarizes the actual method. You won't find a definition of "reduction of order" in this text. In general it could take a hint from Wikipedia's organization and success.
2. It's boring and often long-winded. It needs a viscous editor to make the prose crisp and cut maybe a quarter of the text.
One random example: "Theorem 3.2.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Obscure. Author is only concerned about his book deal, not your learning experience.Published 3 months ago by Del
This book is written with the idea that most people who would need it are comfortable with math. I am not and for me it misses out on explaining things. Read morePublished 15 months ago by P. Sand Ques
The book came quicker than I expected and is working perfectly for the course that I am taking. It came in very good shape too.Published 17 months ago by Sarah Reiser
Cheap, fast and in good condition. Everything I ask for in a textbook!Published 23 months ago by Erin
This textbook does not simplify any of the material. Luckily I had a great teacher who could explain the concepts really well. Read morePublished on May 21, 2014 by Bryan C.