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Topic: Linear Algebra Textbooks
Replies: 5   Last Post: May 10, 2004 3:23 PM

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Terence Gaffney

Posts: 45
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Linear Algebra Textbooks
Posted: May 7, 2004 10:35 AM
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On Fri, 7 May 2004 dsevee@CAM.ORG wrote:

> Hello,
> It's that time of year when members of my department start having heated
> discussions about textbook choices for next year. Although there are many
> nice linear algebra texts available it seems that we will be choosing between
> David Lay's "Linear Algebra with Applications" and Anton's "Elementary
> Linear Algebra" (not his more recent "Contemporary Linear Algebra").
> Does anyone have any opinions on the pros and cons of these texts. Both
> are popular and have been around for a while but they take quite different
> approaches to the material.
> Thanks
> D Sevee

I enjoyed teaching out of Lay this semester. The applications were well
developed, there was a spiral approach to the "hard" ideas of linear
independence, basis and span, and the geometric part of the subject was
not neglected. The exercises were a good mix of the computational and
conceptual--many of the later were easy which is good.

I found myself still going to other sources for some material. At the end
of the course, I wanted to talk about vector spaces over finite
fields--David Poole's book had some nice motivating material on ISBN
numbers and coding theory; Poole's book also had an exploration on magic
squares which the students enjoyed.

I'd like to hear about other people's favorites as well.

Terry Gaffney

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