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Numerical Methods that Work (Spectrum) 1St Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Numerical Methods that Work is a wonderfully candid and good-humoured lore book that I keep coming back to. Besides helping me stay out of trouble, it's such a fun read that I sometimes pull it down from the shelf to read like a novel.
This isn't really a numerical analysis textbook per se--you won't learn how to code the conjugate gradient method, or analyze a SVD routine for roundoff sensitivity, but reading it and making its attitude your own will make your programs better and (if you're like me) save you from lots of painful blunders.
The only topic not covered in this book is the solution of
systems of linear equations, although to some extent this is
treated in the sections on PDEs and eigensystems.
Generally speaking, he covers the concepts behind the
algorithms before introducing the algorithms themselves,
and does not confuse the reader with sophisticated
For getting acquainted with numerical methods generally,
or as a starting point for deeper investigation, or as a
cookbook enabling the reader to quickly implement a method
in his program without becoming a numerical analyst, this
book is ideal.
My only complain is that there seems to be a mistake on the solution of the "Railroad Rail Problem" in pages 67 - 69. That mistake is that the half-arc length is NOT "1 + e" as the author states. The correct value should be "1 + e/2", as the TOTAL length was increased by "e". Unfortunately I found no way to email the author.
Other than that, a fine book to own and study.
Where did I get the "impossible" problems? From Acton.
I find the book readable, even entertaining. You should read it even if you aren't teaching numerical methods. You probably can tell that from the book's cover, which in the present edition still keeps the entertaining title NUMERICAL METHODS THAT usually WORK that Acton used in the first edition. Hurrah for its being expanded and reprinted.