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Numerical Methods for Engineers and Scientists Hardcover – 1 Mar 1992

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Hardcover, 1 Mar 1992
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"a good, solid instructional text on the basic tools of numerical analysis." -AIAA Journal --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x92a931c0) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92d98210) out of 5 stars Perfect numerical methods book as one can get for a 1st course. 17 Nov. 2005
By Intrepid Reviewer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A great textbook for a first course in Numerical Methods as it gives an extensive yet detailed coverage of numerical techniques that form the base for more advanced work in CFD. This book is based almost entirely on the finite difference method for solving differential equations. A chapter addresses finite element techniques but it only a primer; you will need a textbook solely devoted to FEM. This book is written for a mechanical engineer, as most of the governing equations are invariably from the areas of heat transfer, fluid flow, gas dynamics and solid mechanics.

The good points are
1. Each method described comes with a index notated formula that takes the head ache out of programming. Plus there are plenty of FORTRAN subroutines to look at.

2. Not only does Hoffman give you the finite difference equation he also throws in a solved example with one or two iterations worked out in full detail; the benefit of this cannot be overstated.

3. Plenty of practice problems with results at the back of the book.

4. Enough math to give the reader an insight into how the method works. If you care for rigor this is not the book.

The drawbacks are
1. Hoffman has condensed the portions dealing with PDE's from previous editions cutting out some theoretical development. Since most wouldn't have had a course in PDE's (like me) a few more pages might have better squared away a few difficult concepts (eg. characteristic lines of PDE's).

2. Could use another round of proof-reading. This book is littered with typos; which one runs into even in key formulas. This is unacceptable in what is otherwise a pedagogically sound book.

3. I would have liked to see some more elaboration on multidimensional problems in PDE's apart from the 1D unsteady examples which form the workhorse. Hoffman mentions that the explicit methods for 1D unsteady problems work for higher while the implicit schemes introduce numerical complexity which merit advanced methods. These specialized methods for higher dimensional parabolic and hyperbolic PDE's are not developed. As it stands the book is packed with enough material for 3 semesters study.

This book works well for self study. Everything from linear algebra (direct and iterative methods, LU factorization, eigenproblems), non-linear eqns, interpolation, numerical integration and differentiation, ODE's, BVP's, and PDE's is touched upon. Unlike most introductory texts Hoffman doesn't shy away from non-linear problems in differential equations.

I used it for the num. methods course even though the prescribed text was Heath's Scientific Computing which was the worst textbook I ever read (thankfully never purchased it). If you are getting started in CFD then this book provides a solid first step.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x92d8a0e4) out of 5 stars excellent if this is your first exposure to numerics 23 Aug. 2010
By Xiao Hu - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I had Dr. Hoffman as the instructor. He is an excellent teacher and writer. Many math books are horrible for self-study and first timers. But this book sets up a standard. A lot of details are given with plenty of detailed examples. I am sure first timers will appreciate his huge effort put into the book.

But keep in mind one feature (not drawback). This book uses heavily finite difference method (400 pages in the 1st edition and 200 pages in the 2nd). This method is good for only 1d problems. Coordinate transformation needed to extend this to 2d or 3d (even just non-uniform 1d) is not easy especially for 3d. I wish there was an equally good book on finite volume method, which is popular for 3d CFD. Anyways, this book is intended for beginners and thus the choice of finite difference method is an appropriate one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9280f684) out of 5 stars A book for life! 2 Aug. 2010
By tapen - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to take the course offered by Prof. Joe D. Hoffman where he used this textbook at Purdue University. Here agin a fabulous teacher and an expert has written a fabulous book, what more you can expect! It was a phenomenal class where I learned (from my non-engineering background) the basics and advance of numerical methods that I am able to still apply today. The algorithms are fluently explained in very simple language with great examples. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to pursue a career in science and engineering.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x930d4540) out of 5 stars Great Book 26 Mar. 2011
By doug - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great an explaining principle, providing examples, and sample code. It would be improved my more visual explanation of method procedures.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x930b14b0) out of 5 stars Gold standard for finite difference books. 1 Dec. 2013
By Jupiter - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very thorough introductory text on the finite difference approach to numerically solving ODEs and PDEs. I love this book and teach a graduate-level numerical methods course from it. On the other hand, it is introductory only and the PDE section only covers 2 dimensional problems (2-D space OR 1-D space plus time). The extension to 3-D is fairly obvious for elliptic and parabolic PDEs - and is discussed briefly in the text - but not so for hyperbolic problems. Also, mixed-type problems are mentioned, but not covered. The book is thick, but that is because it has built in redundancies, which is good because it doesn't leave anything to chance/guesswork. I would hope that a future edition would include more complicated examples, especially problems with non-constant coefficients and with higher dimensions - like in the real world.
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