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Some advice on linear algebra reference book

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Main Question or Discussion Point

I am going through the MIT OCW on Linear Algebra [18.06] by Gilbert Strang. The problems which they have on the site are all references to Gilbert Strang's book on Linear Algebra. I cannot buy the book as of now.

However, I have got hold of a copy of a book called Linear Algebra by Hoffmann and Kunze. After some searching through earlier posts I see that it is a standard text for LA. Can I use this book as a reference and do problems from there or do you recommend something else?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
danago
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I went through quite a few of the Gilbert Strang's LA lectures BEFORE i bought his book and managed just fine without it. I cant really suggest any textbooks to you, but i can say that the lectures are still an excellent resource without his text.
 
  • #3
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OK. I searched for a while longer and I gather that Hoffmann and Kunze are not something I'd like to start with. How is Serge Lang's book?

EDIT: I shall skip that and somehow get a hold of Strang's book. After I finish a first course in LA, I shall look into Hoffmann-Kunze or Lang.

Anybody have any comments?
 
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  • #4
Landau
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Have you considered Axler's Linear Algabra Done Right?
 
  • #5
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Friedberg's Linear Algebra is also very good
 
  • #6
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I haven't seen Strang, but what's wrong with Hoffman and Kunze for a first book? The authors knew they were writting a book for students for whom Linear Algebra may be their first introduction to higher mathematics and proofs, so in the beginning it goes a bit slower. I like Hoffman and Kunze. I also like Axler's book a lot (one of my favourite maths books), as mentioned above, but Hoffman and Kunze cover more material.
 
  • #7
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Glad you guys replied. I just went through Strang's book and the exercises are very easy. Nothing challenging. I wanted to return and ask for other books. That said, I shall have to find Axler's and go through it.

@ qspeechc
Nothing is wrong with Hoffmann and Kunze as such. I just thought it might not be a very good book to start with. I haven't gone through the book much myself. So like I said, I shall look into Axler's. I shall also go through my copy of Hoffmann and Kunze to see if I like it.
 
  • #8
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Hmm. I'm looking at the reviews at Amazon. Friedberg's and Axler's both seem to have fantastic reviews. I think I shall get one of these two. Pondering over which one would be a better first course.

The Friedberg one is, however, written by Friedberg, Insel and Spence. Is this the same book you were referring to?
 
  • #9
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Instead of relying so much on the views of the earlier members who posted in previous threads, I actually sat and read my Hoffmann and Kunze for a while. The book is fantastic and I am sure I will enjoy it. Thanks anyway.
 
  • #10
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I would like the solution manual to Hoffman and Kunze. Does anyone have an ebook version of it? I can't find it on Amazon.
 
  • #11
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Just one more request. The theory part of Hoffman and Kunze is superb. However although the problems are alright, none of them delve into applications.

For instance, I have heard that transformations are used to rotate co-ordinate axes. I found an example in Boas' Mathematical Methods wherein a hyperbola is rotated such that its axis is along the x-axis. This lead to simpler calculations.

I would like to learn such applications. Do you know of any Math book which I can read alongside this so that the problems delve into applications?
 
  • #12
jbunniii
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Meyer, "Matrix Analysis and Applied Linear Algebra" might be of interest.
 
  • #13
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I shall look into that.
 
  • #14
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Hi Guys. I've finished quite a bit from Hoffman and Kunze ( Chapters 1,2,3 and am working through chapter 5). I would like more sums from these topics. Anyone know of any good book that contains problems in Linear Algebra which are challenging? For instance, do you guys know of any course that was taught in some Uni using Hoffman and Kunze as a primary text that have their problem sets and solutions online?
 
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  • #17
thrill3rnit3
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  • #18
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I don't know. It's not solely for the purpose of self teaching. I can learn the material from H & K. I just wanted extra problems to practice with. If I knew it was good, I wouldn't ask. :)
 
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  • #19
thrill3rnit3
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I' m asking because I'm going to be teaching myself linear algebra. I did a bit of looking up, here's what I found in their Amazon product description.

Can one learn linear algebra solely by solving problems? Paul Halmos thinks so, and you will too once you read this book. The Linear Algebra Problem Book is an ideal text for a course in linear algebra. It takes the student step by step from the basic axioms of a field through the notion of vector spaces, on to advanced concepts such as inner product spaces and normality. All of this occurs by way of a series of 164 problems, each with hints and, at the back of the book, full solutions. This book is a marvelous example of how to teach and learn mathematics by 'doing' mathematics. It will work well for classes taught in small groups and can also be used for self-study. After working their way through the book, students will understand not only the theorems of linear algebra, but also some of the questions which were asked which enabled the theorems to be discovered in the first place. They will gain confidence in their problem solving abilities and be better prepared to understand more advanced courses. As the author explains, 'I don't think I understand a subject until I know the questions ... I wrote this book to organize those questions, problems, in my own mind.' Try this book with your students and they too will be able to organize and understand the questions of linear algebra.
I guess the book is good enough for self teaching?
 
  • #20
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I' m asking because I'm going to be teaching myself linear algebra. I did a bit of looking up, here's what I found in their Amazon product description.



I guess the book is good enough for self teaching?
Let's both try it and see what we find? :)
 
  • #21
thrill3rnit3
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yeah, however it costs 42 bucks on amazon. i want to know opinions of the book first before purchasing it :tongue:
 
  • #22
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It's a problem book. It should be used in conjunction with a textbook, not as a stand-alone book. Halmos wrote it to go with his linear algebra book.

I suppose you could start with that book, but then move on to somthing more substantive, like Hoffman and Kunze.
 
  • #23
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I'm ALREADY using Hoffman and Kunze. I want problems like those provided in H and Ks exercises - they make you think and are rigorous at the same time.
 

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