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Difference between 2nd and 3rd editions of Strang's Introduction to Linear Algebra?

  1. Jul 24, 2012 #1

    I want to buy Dr. Strang's Introduction to Linear Algebra to go with the online MIT lectures, and I am debating whether to buy the second or third edition of the book. The third edition has particularly good reviews on Amazon, but it is slightly more expensive. I would just go ahead and buy the second edition (especially since I think this is the edition that was out during the filming of the lectures and hence has corresponding problems), but I wondered if there was anything important that was clarified with the third edition. Specifically, a few Amazon reviewers of the second edition mentioned that he focused too much on his "discovery" style in some cases and left things like Determinants, Eigenvalues, and Eigenvectors inadequately explained. I also read some reviews of this edition that complained of too many complex tangents creating confusion in the text.

    So basically I was just hoping to know whether there was a lot of text revision between the second and third editions, or if there was only the standard changing of a few problems here and there. If the former, it is possible that Strang could have rethought his style a bit and come up with a friendlier book (in which case I should buy the third edition). If the latter, then I can just chalk the negative comments up to personal opinion and buy the cheaper, second edition.

    Input would be appreciated. Thank you. :)

    P.S. I also have Poole's book on the way, so hopefully the two will complement each other.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  2. jcsd
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