The Elementary Linear Algebra textbook by Howard Anton is one of the most respected and usable textbooks currently available for students of elementary linear algebra. Anton has his PhD in mathematics from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, and worked in the manned space program in the early ’60s. He has 15 years teaching experience in the field of mathematics, and has been writing mathematics textbooks, including the one on elementary linear algebra, since 1983.
Whether the 1st edition, 2nd edition, 3rd edition, 4th, edition, 5th edition, 6th edition, 7th edition, 8th edition, 9th edition or most current 10th edition is purchased, readers and educators will notice what teachers have been saying about Anton’s texts for years. Teachers have said that its explanations are clear, concise and make learning elementary linear algebra easier and more enjoyable for students.
One of the best characteristics of this elementary linear algebra text is that it is designed with the learning student in mind. Clear teaching is one of its primary aims. The author makes learning easier by introducing major concepts of elementary linear algebra repeatedly and with greater and greater complexity throughout the text. This enables teachers to remind students of what they have learned and how it relates and is expanded upon in future lessons. This repetitive method also familiarizes students with difficult concepts early on, so that when the time comes to begin applying those concepts they are not overwhelming to students.
The 10th edition text covers subjects beginning from systems of linear equations, determinants and Euclidean and general vector space, up to more complex linear transformations and numerical methods. Many chapters include an “Application” section which introduces the student to various ways the concepts of that chapter can be applied to science or the world around them. While Calculus is not a pre-requisite for this book, the text does contain exercises for those with a Calculus background that can easily be omitted for students who do not have a Calculus background.
The end of each chapter also has exercises for exploration of these concepts with various technologies such as calculators with linear algebra capabilities or MATLAB, for those who are interested in using them. Appendices on how to read theorems and complex numbers as well as selected answers and an index round out the textbook.
Learning elementary linear algebra does not have to be a nightmare. Teaching it does not have to be either. The right text can make the process easier and even enjoyable. This text, by an author with such depth of experience, is one that teachers have noticed stands above the rest because of how it arranges, portrays and revisits the material, allowing students of varying levels to grasp it.