Guide to Essential Math by M. Blinder is a comprehensive guide designed to help students in intermediate-level physics, chemistry, and engineering courses develop a solid foundation in math concepts and techniques that are essential for success. The book covers topics such as algebra, trigonometry, calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra. In this review, we will take a closer look at the book’s content, style, and overall usefulness.
The book begins with a review of basic algebra and trigonometry, which is a helpful refresher for students who may have forgotten some of these concepts. Blinder’s explanations of these topics are clear and easy to follow, making it accessible to students with a wide range of math backgrounds.
The chapters on calculus are particularly strong. Blinder begins with a clear introduction to limits and derivatives, which are fundamental concepts for understanding calculus. He then moves on to cover integrals, including both definite and indefinite integrals, and techniques such as substitution and integration by parts. The section on differential equations is also well-written, with clear explanations of concepts such as separable and linear differential equations.
Linear algebra is another strong section of the book. Blinder provides a thorough introduction to matrices and covers topics such as matrix multiplication, determinants, and eigenvalues and eigenvectors. The chapter on linear transformations is particularly helpful, as it provides a good introduction to this abstract and often confusing topic.
Blinder’s writing style is clear and straightforward, with explanations that are easy to understand. He uses plenty of examples to illustrate the concepts he’s discussing, which is helpful for students who may struggle with abstract concepts. The book is also well-organized, with chapters that build upon each other in a logical way. This makes it easy for students to follow along and understand how the different topics relate to each other.
Overall, Guide to Essential Math is an excellent resource for students who need to develop a solid foundation in math concepts for their science courses. The book covers all of the essential topics, and Blinder’s explanations are clear and easy to follow. The numerous examples and practice problems throughout the book also make it a helpful tool for students who need to reinforce their understanding and develop their problem-solving skills.
One minor issue with the book is that it assumes a certain level of math proficiency. While the review of algebra and trigonometry at the beginning of the book is helpful, students who have not had much exposure to these topics may still struggle with some of the concepts in later chapters. However, this is a minor quibble, and overall, the book does an excellent job of presenting math concepts in an accessible way.
Guide to Essential Math by M. Blinder is a comprehensive guide that is well-suited for students in intermediate-level physics, chemistry, and engineering courses who need to develop a strong foundation in math concepts. The book covers all of the essential topics and provides clear explanations and numerous examples to help students understand the concepts and develop their problem-solving skills. While it assumes a certain level of math proficiency, the book is generally accessible to students with a wide range of math backgrounds. Overall, Guide to Essential Math is an excellent resource for students who need to master math concepts for their science courses.