I am not embarrassed to admit that, in several undergraduate courses, I relied heavily on Schaum’s Outlines. The additional examples and numerous practice problems helped me master techniques that I struggled with when using only the course textbook and notes. In my years as a college professor, I have recommended similar guides for students who need that additional assistance.
Unfortunately, Linear Algebra Demystified is not one that I could recommend to students struggling in their first course in linear algebra. The book does contain the topics from a typical first course in linear algebra, but supports the text with few examples and no proofs. The book provides endofchapter quizzes and a final exam, but the quizzes have ten or fewer problems and the answer keys give only hints or the final answer with no explanation.
Linear Algebra Demystified lacks the variety of examples, practice problems and proofs that would be needed for most people to truly master linear algebra on their own. I also doubt that a student who is currently in their first course in linear algebra would find it useful as a supplementary text for the same reason. That being said, Linear Algebra Demystified could be a useful for anyone who has taken a first course in linear algebra and now needs just a “nuts and bolts” refresher.
Susan Slattery teaches at Villa Julie College in Stevenson, MD.
