Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Good Refernce book
on April 20, 2011
I'm a grad student and I recently had to learn how to numerically solve PDE's. I'm rather new to computer programming and numerical analysis in general. I've really only been in my field for about 1 year now.
I picked up this book and went straight to Chapter 12. It explained everything quite concisely and had very clear descriptions and diagrams. Armed with pen and paper, I learned how to numerically solve these PDE's quite quickly. It was honestly a fun experience. Whenever there were tools that I was missing, the authors would reference the section and chapter where you could find the necessary tools.
I believe this book was written as a reference, as well as, textbook. A problem that many textbooks suffer from, is that the material is written in sequential order, with newer material depending heavily on the previous chapters. These types of books are not adept to being just picked up and read, to gather the relevant information. They require you to pretty much read all the preceding text to understand it, and who has time for that? This book is NOT like that.
You can just pick it up and easily learn from it. Unlike Numerical Recipes, this provides the method with a very clear explanation and justification for the algorithms. Numerical Recipes is good, but its purpose is not to provide detailed explanations of why and how the algorithms work.
To be able to use this text, I would suggest having taken Calc 1,2 & 3, differential equations, linear algebra class, and be comfortable with programming. I suspect that the folks complaining heavily about this text, are not very comfortable with with Calculus, linear algebra, and/or programming. If you are an undergrad and have not taken those classes or are not comfortable with the material, I can see you struggling. If you are a grad student in Math or Physics, this text will be rather refreshingly easy to read. It will help fill in the necessary gaps in your knowledge of computational work, if you have any like I did. Enjoy!