I have two ODE books, which first?

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In summary, the conversation discusses the individual's math background, particularly in the subject of Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE). They mention two recommended books on ODE, Tenenbaum and Pollard's and Arnol'd's, and express their preference for Tenenbaum's as it is more in-depth. They also mention taking a linear algebra course alongside reading the DE book and ask for suggestions on what other subjects they should study before tackling Arnol'd's book. The conversation ends with a suggestion to also try Coddington's book, which is cheaper and covers general Differential Equations.
  • #1
My math background is the Calc 1-3 series, and an intro to ODE class, but honestly I don't remember much from the ODE class (i started having to work during the time i had the class and just wound up cramming for tests and going in). I was feeling the same way about Calc 1 & 2 ( i took them several years ago), but just brushed up on them by working through Spivak's book (and learned quite a bit I didn't in the classes!).

Anyhow, the two books are
- Tenenbaum and Pollard: Ordinary Differential Equations
- Arnol'd: Ordinary Differential Equations

Thanks again everybody.
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  • #2
Someone out the is probably more knowledgeable..
But Arnol'd's should be more advanced...
So, perhaps try Tenenbaum's first

personally I just started to read Tenenbaum's
  • #3
I rather like A Second Course in Ordinary Differential Equations by Paul Waltman and it's affordable as a Dover book.
  • #4
That's what I was thinking, as well. I was just hoping somebody would tell me it wouldn't be a bad idea to do Arnol'd. People speak so well of it, and mathwonk mentions it as the best ODE theory book every time somebody asks :) Forgot to mention that I'm taking a linear algebra course alongside reading the DE book (as per suggestions from last post - a class opened up so I went that route instead of self-study).

To somebody who has read Arnol'd: what else should be studied besides what I have listed before tackling this book? I have heard mention of analysis and topology..

@Chaostamer - I appreciate the suggestion, but I really have to stop buying books for a while; I already have these two. Amazon has taken more from me than my landlord this month :D
  • #5
Generally, well known books for for introductory ODE will be those of Coddington and another one by Tenenbaum and Pollard

Both are Dover books.
I just started to read both.
Tenenbaum's much thicker and hence cover deeper.
Coddington's cover general Differential Equation, but much smaller. So, perhaps it's also cheaper.

If you've bought both books, just try Tenenbaum first.
Perhaps if you think it a bit easy, switch for a more advanced book.

1. Which of the two ODE books should I use first?

The answer to this question ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, some factors to consider when choosing which book to use first include your level of familiarity with the subject, the organization and structure of each book, and the specific topics covered in each book. It may also be helpful to read reviews or ask for recommendations from other scientists or educators in the field.

2. Are both ODE books suitable for beginners?

This again depends on your level of familiarity with the subject. Both books may be suitable for beginners, but one may be more accessible or easier to understand than the other. It is important to read through the content and see which book aligns better with your learning style and level of understanding.

3. What are the main differences between the two ODE books?

The main differences between the two ODE books may include the organization and structure of the material, the level of difficulty, the topics covered, and the overall approach to teaching the subject. It may be helpful to compare the table of contents and read reviews to get a better understanding of the differences between the two books.

4. Can I use both ODE books simultaneously?

Yes, you can use both ODE books simultaneously. This may be helpful if you want to compare and contrast the information presented in each book or if you find that one book explains a certain concept better than the other. However, it may be more efficient to focus on one book at a time to avoid confusion or repetition.

5. Are there any supplementary resources that I should use with these ODE books?

It is always helpful to use supplementary resources when studying a subject. This can include online tutorials, practice problems, lecture notes, or videos. It may also be beneficial to consult with a teacher or mentor for additional guidance and clarification on the material.

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