11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2013
It is years since I've studied maths (or math, if you prefer).
As I'm about to embark on a course of study with a significant maths content (and, of course, engineering!), I trawled around for a good refresher book that would help me through. After doing a number of searches, this book kept cropping us as being highly recommended, and I can see why.
Firstly, it's big: over 1000 pages and a couple of kilograms.
Secondly, it's presented in a very interesting fashion. It feels almost like an online interactive class, rather than just reading a book. There are lots of quizzes, tests and even in the midst of a chapter, you'll be prompted to work things out and write down your answers.
As an instructor of many years, I know how much more effective materials are when they force you to interact, rather than just read.
The writing is simple (or as simple as maths can be) and the subjects appear to be well explained. I'm not sure that you could learn maths just from these books, but in conjunction with lectures and tutorials, then I feel that you'd have no problem.
And lastly the scope of the material is vast. I'm hoping that this book, and its partner "Advanced Engineering Mathematics", will see me through the course.
The only challenge now is working my way through them both. But my initial impression is that this is something that I'm actually going to enjoy.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 January 2014
I have included my review of the previous edition, with minor updating, as it is still applicable. The additional material in this edition is a nice improvement, as is the lower price.
However, there is now a caveat. In my opinion, the publishers made an unfortunate decision to publish this in one volume. It needs to be published in two parts. While publishing in one volume may reduce costs, it is definitely not user-friendly. Its now weighs almost 6-1/2 pounds. This makes it very, very difficult, perhaps impossible, to carry and use easily. Its weight requires a table, or large book support, be used to work comfortably. The previous edition was almost two pounds lighter, and had a smaller size, making that edition comfortable to handle. I had no problem carrying it with me to refer to as time allowed. The weight and size of this edition make that, for me, impossible.
This is an excellent text for self-study or as a supplement to a classroom text. It is fairly wide ranging, covering a large portion of the mathematics needed during the first few years of an engineering, or physical science program. However, it is not quite comprehensive, lacking some areas that have gained significant importance in recent times, e.g, discrete transforms. Although some Fourier Series and transforms are covered in the companion volume "Advanced Engineering Mathematics".
The pretests and revision (more commonly called review in the US) sections are quite helpful. The book de-emphasizes formal definitions, as concepts and intuitive descriptions are provided in conjunction with examples. However, in some instances this can lead to problems, where the appropriate problem-solving approach is well-presented but the lack of a formal definition can lead to some "fuzziness". In these cases an inexpensive mathematics dictionary, or standard text, should provide the needed clarity.
Some sections or chapters are quite elementary and may not be needed by many readers. For example, the book starts with an approximately 60 page section on arithmetic.
The book is well designed and laid out with black type, avoiding the distracting overuse of color found in some competing texts. The authors are usually quite clear, and quickly get to the "meat" of a topic. Extra material is kept to a minimum. One section where this is not true is the Programme F.10 (section) on Functions where unneeded, and arguably unhelpful, box graphics are introduced and used fairly extensively to visually denote the the ideas of function input and output. However, the boxes are not standard mathematical constructs for handling functions. In my opinion, these extraneous constructs are an unnecessary distraction, as the function notation carries with it all the structure needed for comprehension, and is what students will see in later work. In reviewing the 6th edition, I had hoped these boxes would be eliminated in later editions. However, they are, unfortunately, retained for this edition.
The book still shows a much earlier publishing heritage as some mathematical terms no longer in common usage are nonetheless retained.
For a book this large in size, there are an unusually small number of errors or misstatements and these are usually obvious. One example where this is not true is when the authors use the terms "range" and "co-domain", page 271, incorrectly as synonyms.
This is an outstanding and well-written book. The book's presentation of desired learning outcomes, i.e., behavioral objectives, at the start of each Programme is excellent. Material is presented in easily digestible short sections that allow for breaks to be taken at almost any time, without the need to stop in the middle of an unfinished section. Pretest quizzes allow readers to determine what sections they can skip and what sections they need to work on. There are very few backward references to previously covered material. A minor deficiency is the lack of more formal definitions. These are usually not needed. In a number of cases they would help aid understanding and reduce the chance of encountering unexpected problems in later work. However, the book's strong emphasis on carefully developing concepts needed to comfortably handle the mathematical manipulation and problem solving skills required for engineering is exceptional.
There are additions in this edition, but if the 6th can be found at a significantly lower price, not the case on Amazon at the time of this review, it would likely serve as well. Owing to its lighter weight and size, that edition may prove even more useful for those who spend considerable time away from their home/office/classroom/etc.
This edition's uncomfortably large size and weight is compensated for by its outstanding content. It continues to deserve the highest recommendation.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 August 2013
This books is fantastic. Though it may appear expensive, it is well worth the money! Anybody who wants to achieve an A* at a level further maths, I would recommend this book as it contains almost all of the material for the further pure maths modules. I simply cannot find fault; the explanations are clear cut and there are plenty of examples to guide you through tough topics. It is an excellent book to have as a reference on your shelf!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Superb instructional book. I can't sing its praises enough.
Allows the reader to interact with the lessons. It is particularly useful from the viewpoint of quick revision of the topics.
A tremendous resource for students by providing them with a solid basis for their studies.
Ken Stroud passed away a few years ago but his legacy, in the form of his books, lives on.