Recommended Linear Algebra Texts


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Comments on:
Lay, D., Linear Algebra and Its Applications, Addison-Wesley (1994).

My recommendation for linear algebra is David Lay's book. There are also some materials that use MATLAB that have been developed in conjunction with the atlast project that would be interesting to play with.

He writes well, puts in applications, has proof-read the first edition very carefully, so that it is almost entirely free of errors; and has a pedagogical slant that I find excellent. For example, he talks about

and of the columns of [b1 b2 ... bn] C as linear combinations of the columns of B with coefficients from the corresponding column of C. This is VERY productive way to work with matrices, and VERY helpful when dealing with change of basis and similarity: with B invertible,

is equivalent to

and the matrix of the linear map T(v) = Av relative to the basis b1,b2,...,bn is easily seen to be C!

We have been using the David Lay book, which features an applicable point of view with lots of nice supplementary material and the possibility of being used with a variety of technology, as well as a nice (the LACSG) view of matrix multiplication. I suspect that there will be changes in the a second addition that will improve the book.

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27 May 1996