Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review of Elementary Linear Algebra by Anton and Rorres

This is a polished, well written text and features a wide variety of interesting contemporary applications towards the end of the book
Its definitions and theorems are highlighted and boxed, and it makes excellent use of illustrations.
However, after their initial introduction, the definitions and results are not reprinted. This makes the book awkward to use and the reader is often forced to search back through the book to find a particular formula or theorem. It is my opinion that the average student is unlikely to absorb this information at their first attempt, and I think it is important to repeat important points until the student is completely familiar with them.
This book also fails to summarise each chapter. My experience of students is that they find a modular approach to mathematics easier to absorb, and I think it is imperative that at the conclusion of each section, new information is condensed and consolidated before the next module commences.
Its explanations are somewhat brief in places, and it uses a compact notation. A confident mathematician would find this method of presentation clear and concise, while the nervous undergraduate finds this kind of brevity difficult to interpret.

No comments: