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Trying to self study Linear Algebra

  1. Nov 5, 2009 #1
    I was trying to self study Linear Algebra and I had a copy of Hoffman and Kunze. I found it a bit dry. I searched for some alternatives and I like these:

    1) Applied Linear Algebra and Matrix Analysis - Thomas S. Shores (Springer Undergrad math series)
    2) Elementary Linear Algebra (Not the 9th edition) by Howard Anton
    3) Linear Algebra and its Applications by Gilbert Strang
    4) Elementary Linear Algebra Fifth Edition- Larson/ Edwards/ Falvo
    5) Linear Algebra by Stephen Friedberg

    What would you recommend? Should I continue with Hoffman/Kunze or should I use one of the others?

    Cost is not an issue.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2009 #2
    Re: YES, this question has been asked several times already, but still.

    You should check out https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=321732". If this is your 1st course in LA then maybe the Anton is a good starting point.

    That's what I have and it really is an elementary course, but that is what I needed. I plan on reading one of the other ones after.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Nov 5, 2009 #3
    Re: YES, this question has been asked several times already, but still.

    Thanks for the comment. I'll consider Anton.

    Any other inputs are appreciated.
  5. Nov 6, 2009 #4


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    Re: YES, this question has been asked several times already, but still.

    Especially if you're selfstudying, you should use the book you like most. Ik you think Hoffman/Kunze is too dry, but you do like, say, Strang, then I see no reason not to use Strang. Maybe you'll appreciate Hoffman/Kunze more if you already have seen (some of) the material in a different, more explanatory way.
  6. Nov 6, 2009 #5
    Plus, I got the 8th ed of Anton for around $9 shipped (USD).
  7. Nov 6, 2009 #6
  8. Nov 6, 2009 #7
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Nov 6, 2009 #8
    I like the one by Stephen Friedberg et al. it's linear algebra on the more theoretical side
  10. Nov 9, 2009 #9
    Thanks for the replies you guys.

    I think I am not really interested in learning Linear Algebra in such a way. I am more interested in it's applications.

    Now, what do you recommend?
  11. Nov 9, 2009 #10
    Not sure what you mean " in such a way" ?

    Still recommend the same books. I don't see how you can go straight to 'applications' without learning what it is you are supposed to apply.
  12. Nov 9, 2009 #11
    What I mean is that I would not want to learn it the way Hoffman and Kunze approaches it. The exercises include proofs, etc and only look at the pure math side of it.

    Something like Shores would show the graphical meaning of it all and includes examples with applications.

    I don't think I'm ready for Hoffman/Kunze yet. I couldn't do some of the exercises even in the first chapter.
  13. Nov 9, 2009 #12
    I see. Well, I still suggest the Anton. I tried a book by Axler, but it was all about proofs too. I can appreciate the thought process and all, but I am not a math major, so I can appreciate a more application oriented text.

    I switched to the Anton text and like it so far. It is to the point and gives plenty of examples and has answers to odd-numbered problems so I can check my work.

    I am not too far into the text, but so far, I like it. I think that it will give the foundation I need if I wanted to try Axler again or Hoffman et al for a more in depth understanding.

    That's my two cents.
  14. Nov 11, 2009 #13
    My college course used Linear Algebra and its Applications by David Lay. I liked it a lot but some of the theories were oddly placed throughout the book and it didn't flow very well if you went from cover to cover. It was easier to learn if you jumped around a bit. I recommend it though.
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