Linear Algebra: A Modern Introduction

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Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2005 - Mathematics - 712 pages
8 Reviews
David Poole's innovative book emphasizes vectors and geometric intuition from the start and better prepares students to make the transition from the computational aspects of the course to the theoretical. Poole covers vectors and vector geometry first to enable students to visualize the mathematics while they are doing matrix operations. With a concrete understanding of vector geometry, students are able to visualize and understand the meaning of the calculations that they will encounter. By seeing the mathematics and understanding the underlying geometry, students develop mathematical maturity and can think abstractly when they reach vector spaces. Throughout the text, Poole's direct conversational writing style connects with students, and an abundant selection of applications from a broad range of disciplines clearly demonstrates the relevance of linear algebra.

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This "book" is an absolute trainwreck. It takes a completely abitrary trip through the subjects of linear algebra without any clear build-up whatsoever. Half the critical concepts of a paragraph are put into "examples" and "theorems", which make it absolutely horrendous if you just want to look up one thing.
To understand how to write a line using a single interpretation (i.e. write a vector normal form), prepare to read 3-4 pages in paragraph 1.3 where 90% of the text is irrelevant to the subject explained.
They claim to establish a link between algebraic notation and "geometric intuiition", which is a plain lie. Nowhere in the book does it even attempt to translate ideas from an algebraic to a geometric viewpoint.

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Worst math book I have ever had. Some practice questions have no relevant examples, solutions use notation not even mentioned in that section of the text. Don't even try to get the correct process and notation without paying an additional 75-80 dollars for the solutions manual. All in all a terrible, extremely overpriced resource for those unfamiliar with the subject. Poole forgets what it is like to not be a trained mathematician who is just learning the subject. 

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References to this book

Pam Norton
Limited preview - 2007

About the author (2005)

David Poole is Professor of Mathematics at Trent University, where he has been a faculty member since 1984. Dr. Poole has won numerous teaching awards: Trent University's Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching (the university's top teaching award), three merit awards for teaching excellence, a 2002 Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award (the top university teaching award in the province), a 2003 3M Teaching Fellowship (the top university teaching award in Canada, sponsored by 3M Canada Ltd.), a 2007 Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award from the province of Ontario, and the Canadian Mathematical Society's 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award. From 2002-2007, Dr. Poole was Trent University's Associate Dean (Teaching & Learning). His research interests include discrete mathematics, ring theory, and mathematics education. He received his B.Sc. from Acadia University in 1976 before earning his M.Sc. (1977) and Ph.D. (1984) from McMaster University. When he is not doing mathematics, David Poole enjoys hiking and cooking, and he is an avid film buff.

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