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A First Course in Optimization Theory 130.65 edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
First, it is touted to have numerious examples of both theory and applications. Theory, as I mentioned above, it has in abundance. But it is very thin on practical applications.
Second, this book has numerious problems at the ends of the chapters WITH NONE OF THEM WORKED OUT! Frankly, I'm not really interested in paying almost $30 for a paperback book that is unfinished.
Perhaps I was expecting much more than what I got after reading the glowing reviews above; and in hindsight, I really should have paid more attention to the title as "Theory" is indeed the operative word. My irritation is not in the book itself, as the author states in his forward that he is writing a book aimed the graduate school set; but is aimed at the reviewers above which led me to think that this text was much wider based than it turned out to be.
Previous reviews have made a chapter by chapter analysis of the book and hence I will just highlight some of the things I liked about the approach used by the author. Whenever a theorem is stated different examples are given to emphasize the points. For example when stating the Lagrange Theorem and Kuhn-Tucker theorem the author points out when the theorems fail and gives detailed examples to illustrate the ideas. The author often draws from examples in finance to illustrate the practical importance of the theory. The one I liked most was how a cost minimization problem was solved by reducing the solution space to a compact space and then applying the Weierstrass theorem. The author also shows how some of the "cookbook" procedures really work and warns the readers against potential pitfalls in applying such procedures. If you are planning to study optimization theory and are looking for a good entry point into the subject this book is for you.
However, I have three very large problems with this book.
The first, and most important, is that the book is not self contained. In many theorems in Chapter 1, the reader is asked to see Baby Rudin for the proof. While it's pretty easy to find a PDF of Baby Rudin online for free, this is still not ideal. First, because Rudin and this book use different terminology/symbols for the same concepts, so there is a bit of unnecessary complexity in figuring how out Rudin's proof fits into this book's theorem. For example, the proof of Theorem 1.21 in this book is left to the proof of Rudin's Theorem 2.41. However, Rudin relies on the concept of k-cells, which this book never speaks of. Second, and most importantly, Rudin's proofs rely on concepts that this book has not defined. For example, Theorem 1.28 in this book relies on the proof of Theorem 2.36 in Baby Rudin. However, the proof in Baby Rudin relies on the concept of an "open cover," which this book does not define until a couple theorems later!
The second complaint I have about this book is that sometimes the proofs are sloppy. For example, at the beginning of section 1.2.8, the author states that unbounded sets must be compact and states that an unbounded sequence cannot contain a convergent subsequence. Instead of explaining why, though, he simply puts "(why?)" in the text. While this might be great for a student who is following this book in a class or with an instructor, this is incredibly frustrating for someone who is studying on their own.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are interested in learning optimization, you need this book.Published 6 months ago by Jonathan
One of the probes that I have found with Kindle format is the size of the equations. The equations are to small to be readable. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
A lot of the material here is subsumed in other texts. It also goes into more detail than you need for 1st year PhD courses.Published 12 months ago by Marco Sammon
Very insightful and direct-to-the-point book. If you need to master optimization topics in a short period of time, buy it. Read morePublished on February 23, 2014 by Gustavo S. Cortes
I read almost all the comments here on amazon.com before reading the book. I am on Chapter 5 now, and hence in some position to comment. I think the book is excellently written. Read morePublished on March 11, 2013 by Bilal A. Siddiqui
This book lists itself as a "first course in optimization theory", which would imply any student nearing the end of their undergraduate degree or beginning their master's program... Read morePublished on October 20, 2012 by Kevin Smith
If you are studying Economics or Applied Mathematics, especially in Operations and Information Management, this book is an great overview of what you should master in order to... Read morePublished on September 18, 2011 by Chris Brightman
glaring mistakes all over the book.
i've found at least 3 wrong definition of convexity in the book. some contradicing within a paragraph. wow do some proof reading? Read more