On Twitter, I asked:
Sincere question: do any of you have a linear algebra introductory text that you really liked?
(Man, this blog is just going to rocket to the top of the charts, I can tell.)
Here’s what people mentioned:
- Many folks like Linear Algebra and Its Applications, by Gilbert Strang, $285. “The gold standard.” “Pretty good.” Strang is an MIT professor, and his lectures are available through the MIT OpenCourseWare site. (Thanks, @bos31337, @froydnj, and @TerryHancock1!)
- Algebra, by Michael Artin, $129. This one was recommended by @graydon2, so: 95% chance profound and beautiful; 50% chance completely beyond my depth.
- Several folks mentioned the curiously-named Linear Algebra, by Serge Lang, $77. Thanks, @nataren and @cbrozefsky!
- Dave Herman‘s uncle wrote a text on geometric intuitions for linear algebra using Maple/Mathematica! $135.
- Linear Algebra and Its Applications, by David C. Lay, $172. “… but mostly I was just relieved to finally be taking math that wasn’t calc, so.” A ringing endorsement! (Thanks, @lindsey!)
Prices are from Powell’s Books, for comparison. Powell’s prices aren’t the lowest, but I consider the physical bookstore (and especially the technical bookstore, oh my goodness) a substantial side benefit, so I try to buy from them anyway. But, wow, tutelage on the fundamental truths of the universe is not cheap. However much I love bookstores, I think I might like open-sourced textbooks even more…