- Hardcover: 487 pages
- Publisher: Brooks Cole; 4th edition (2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0030105676
- ISBN-13: 978-0030105678
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Linear Algebra and Its Applications, 4th Edition 4th Edition
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About the Author
Gilbert Strang is Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College. He was an undergraduate at MIT and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. His doctorate was from UCLA and since then he has taught at MIT. He has been a Sloan Fellow and a Fairchild Scholar and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Strang has published a monograph with George Fix, "An Analysis of the Finite Element Method", and has authored six widely used textbooks. He served as President of SIAM during 1999 and 2000 and he is Chair of the U.S. National Committee on Mathematics for 2003-2004.
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Top Customer Reviews
Quick tips if you're debating this book:
- This is not a good book for a first course in linear algebra. You should be strong in matrix operations and understand functions such as traces, determinants, inverses, etc. The first chapter isn't going to walk you through it.
- If this is for a course and you're contemplating an international edition, note the questions at the end of each section are mixed up. This could mess you up with homework from the book.
There are 5 star reviews out there that provide a good picture of what you can get out of the book. While I agree with those, as mentioned earlier, this is not a first course in linear algebra. Even having taken a course years ago I keep my initial course book with me to help through this book. There is an extensive use of formula instruction and variable based proofs, but when getting to quantitative examples it is rather fast paced jumping over steps.
Publishing material of the book is solid, with a heavy cover and pages. Text is easily legible and thus far I haven't noticed typos enough to distract me.
Examples are insightful and numerous - exposition is even better. Strang reminds the student where Linear Algebra fits in the big picture and does so with the brilliance of Feynman.
The only exception is for computer scientists, who will find that the examples are quite dated. However, a bright programmer will be able to adapt the programming examples pretty easily, since Strang has such excellent exposition.
Buy the book your instructor assigns for the class, sell it back and buy this for your library.
Apparently, everyone who took linear algebra at my university last semester agreed. My school offered two sections of the class last semester with both professors using the same book. Next semester, based on student feedback, both professors unanimously agreed to switch to another book.
The worked-out examples are very few in number and do not cover the topics gone over in the problems at the end of each section in the book. In my previous calculus books, if I had trouble on a problem, I could go back to a specific section in the chapter and read why a certain answer was the answer. In this book, despite the claims that linear algebra is a well understood mathematical discipline, it was nearly impossible to find a good explanation as to why a certain answer was a good answer.
There is another thing. Strang would often put problems on a certain topic in, say chapter one and not officially go over that topic in, say, chapter three. In my opinion, that is such a bad way to introduce a topic to a beginner and quite the turnoff.
For the most part, the online video lectures do help in further explaining the topics gone over in the book. But, the online video lectures are from Spring 1999 and a different book, so the material is a little dated but easy to follow.
Unless your professor knows exactly what he is talking about, I would recommend finding another supplementary text to better understand the topics gone over in this book. This book was definitely not worth the $170 I paid for it.