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Some advice on linear algebra reference book

  1. May 9, 2009 #1
    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?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2009 #2


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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.
  4. May 9, 2009 #3
    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?
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  5. May 10, 2009 #4


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    Have you considered Axler's Linear Algabra Done Right?
  6. May 10, 2009 #5
    Friedberg's Linear Algebra is also very good
  7. May 10, 2009 #6
    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.
  8. May 10, 2009 #7
    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.
  9. May 10, 2009 #8
    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?
  10. May 13, 2009 #9
    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.
  11. May 15, 2009 #10
    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.
  12. Jun 14, 2009 #11
    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?
  13. Jun 14, 2009 #12


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    Meyer, "Matrix Analysis and Applied Linear Algebra" might be of interest.
  14. Jun 14, 2009 #13
    I shall look into that.
  15. Aug 13, 2009 #14
    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?
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  16. Aug 13, 2009 #15
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  17. Aug 14, 2009 #16
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  18. Aug 15, 2009 #17


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    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. Aug 15, 2009 #18
    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. :)
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  20. Aug 15, 2009 #19


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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?
  21. Aug 16, 2009 #20
    Let's both try it and see what we find? :)
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