A Short Course in Mathematical Methods with Maple is an overview of several mathematical methods that are useful in science and engineering. As the name suggests, a primary focus of the book is on the use of Maple .
A glance at the table of contents shows that the book is broken up into two parts. Part I covers the mathematics and Part II demonstrates Maple. For use as classroom material, this organization is somewhat ineffective. It simply results in much page flipping in order to find what you want. This is a forgivable flaw, though.
The depth of the book intentionally varies somewhat from section to section. Overall, topics are chosen wisely, giving the reader a hint at what lies under the face of elementary methods. For example, the chapter on vectors and vector calculus starts and ends with the geometric and ordered n-tuple views of vectors. However, the axiomatic definition of a vector space is introduced along with several examples. This is welcome considering the tendency of some books of the same genre and level to ignore this.
Part II of the book, which is concerned with Maple, teaches mostly by example. It follows the general order of the first part and demonstrates typical calculations for each topic with Maple. This is fairly effective for a first-time user, but it doesn’t delve into a discussion of the particulars of Maple with any depth, limiting its usefulness as a reference.
Overall, A Short Course in Mathematical Methods with Maple is a concise and well-written book. However, because of the combination of the concise exposition of Part I and the pedagogical approach of Part II, it has a somewhat limited audience. As is stated in the introduction, the book was written as a supplement to a lecture course in mathematical methods and it is best restricted to this use.
Steven Frankel is an undergraduate Engineering student at The Cooper Union in New York, NY. His primary interests lie on the line between Electrical Engineering and Mathematics, including Signal Processing and Control Systems. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.