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Partial Differential Equations: An Introduction 1st Edition

2.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471548683
ISBN-10: 0471548685
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From the Publisher

Covers the fundamental properties of partial differential equations (PDEs) and proven techniques useful in analyzing them. Uses a broad approach to illustrate the rich diversity of phenomena such as vibrations of solids, fluid flow, molecular structure, photon and electron interactions, radiation of electromagnetic waves encompassed by this subject as well as the role PDEs play in modern mathematics, especially geometry and analysis.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 17, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471548685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471548683
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #800,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This 1992 title by Walter A. Strauss (professor at Brown) has become a standard for teaching PDE theory to junior and senior applied math and engineering students in many American universities. Having been the actual class grader for two terms in 2004-2005, (and another year an informal teaching assistant), I found many of the students struggling with the concepts and exercises in the book. Admittedly the style of writing here is dense and if the reader does not have a strong background in the requisite topics (including physics), chances are high he or she will face a grand level of frustration with the exposition and the subject as a whole. One would need perseverance and dedication working numerous hours with this text before things start to settle in. After about the second or third chapter onward, those who were still taking the class had an easier time understanding the material and doing the excercises.

The second edition (2007) adds new exercises, subject material, comments, and corrections throughout. Contentwise, after a brief and important introductory chapter (which should not be skipped by any reader!) the book first focuses on the properties and methods of solutions of the one-dimensional linear PDEs of hyperbolic and parabolic types. Then after two separate chapters, one on the trio of Dirichlet, Neumann, and Robin conditions and the other on the Fourier series, the author embarks upon the discussion of elliptic PDEs via the methods of harmonic analysis and Green's functions. Subsequently there is a brief introduction to the numerical techniques for finding approximate solutions to the three types of PDEs, mostly centered on the finite differences methods.
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Format: Hardcover
I have never commented on a book, up until now... and I do so only because I don't think that this book gets enough credit.

People have complained Strauss may not have explained some proofs in as much detail as he could have, people complained that he didnt give enough examples, I think this is more of a problem with the readers than the writers. If you need someone to hold your hand through every step and detail, I think you should reconsider why you are studying what you study.-

I am an undergraduate at NYU, one of the best research institutes for PDE's. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it gives an amazing description of what PDE's are, how to solve them, and how they are used in science. One thing I REALLY enjoyed about this book was it did not do what many other books do: first dive into seperation of variables and focused only on that. Instead Strauss shows how to solve first and second order equations without boundary conditions, giving a very elegant prose doing so!

However, I think much of the problem that people are having with this book is that it's not a "one-size fits all." (Which I don't think any book can be!) If you are a Scienctist or Engineer and just want to learn PDE's to solve problems in science.. find another book, because this book is not the book for you.

That being said, if you are Mathematics student or interested in a more deep study of PDEs this is really a good book for you. You definitely should have taken Calc. 1-3, Linear Alegbra, ODE, and I recommend one semester of Analysis (for function spaces) before tackling this book, that is what I had, and I loved this course.

PDE is a difficult subject/course and Strauss does an amazing job at explaining it, if someone like me can get PDEs so well from this course, than I seriously believe that complaints about this book is due to fault in the readers and not the writer.
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Format: Hardcover
May I begin by stating that my critique is based on having read and used the first 7 chapters, with some familiarity with chapters 9, 11, and 13. With that said, just about every NEGATIVE comment and review posted prior to this review, I believe, is for the most part quite accurate and nightmarishly true. In particular, Strauss states the obvious, while omitting key and crucial steps (this isn't limited just to his proofs). One might notice that the last comment is similar to the Rudin style. Let me assure you that unlike Rudin, Strauss' presentation is not elegant, it does not inspire, and simply cannot be compared to Rudin. Some other major flaws include: hasty organization, lack of depth and breath in theory, and the problem sets consist mostly of trivial proofs and unimaginative applications. I would not recommend this book under any circumstances. If you want to learn PDEs, take the graduate course.

(Continue reading only if you have to use this book for a class)

If you are unfortunate enough to be forced to read this book, here is some advice:


It is explicitly stated in the preface that this book is intended

for undergraduates at the junior/senior level. I believe that in order to learn anything meaningful from Strauss, it requires that you have already had the following courses: calculus, multivariate calc (vector calc), linear algebra, analysis, and ordinary differential eqns. (Complex analysis, is not necessary, but does illuminate specific areas. Fourier analysis, is not necessary. Since half the books tries to establish main theorems of Fourier analysis--may I add, not at a rigorous level.
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