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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the whole still a good buy, 22 Jun 2009
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This review is from: Numerical Recipes 3rd Edition: The Art of Scientific Computing (Hardcover)
Some months' hesitation preceded my review of this book. When a book in its third edition reaches over a thousand pages, anyone may reasonably expect the balance to have drifted off a little. I therefore agree with the reviewer who criticises the omission of certain topics in optimisation and suspect that this indicates that a fourth edition might be a step too far.

On the other hand the criticism that you have to transcribe the source code examples manually IMO is a little ill-considered, if only because most code examples in most similar books need a lot of revision to attain the kind of code quailty required for high-integrity applications. Nor do I think it a demerit to refer to external material. Indeed, I would feel let down if such a book did not contain such references - and the ones that are given are IMO very well chosen both for breadth and focus.

One last (and perhaps churlish) niggle: As a software engineer I am irritated by the slowness of mathematicians to abandon use of "goto" statements, but this is arguably among the least of the books failings.

Apart from that this book covers a very wide range of topics and on the whole does what it sets out to do pretty well. It may not give you the answers you are looking for but it is an excellent starting point for deeper investigation in every area that it does cover. IMO serious users of numerical methods should have this edition on their bookshelves.
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4.3 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)
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Location: Wales, UK

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