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University Mathematics Handbook

Ben Zion Kon
Publication Date: 
Number of Pages: 
[Reviewed by
Underwood Dudley
, on

As can be seen by its table of contents, the book summarizes in its 400-odd pages the material in undergraduate courses in calculus, linear algebra, and ordinary differential equations. Also included is some complex variables, Fourier series, and partial differential equations. There are many statements but, naturally for a handbook, no proofs and no examples.

The book could be useful for those who have forgotten, say, what the equation of a hyperboloid of two sheets is, who need to know, and who have discarded their 1200-page calculus texts.

It has, however, flaws. Mathematical symbols are not italicized, which my eye finds offensive. The translation is far from idiomatic (the articles “the” and “a” often don’t appear, and [a, b] is a “close interval”) and was made, I induced, by someone whose first language was Russian. The editor, Sherrill Layton, has a very English name, but evidently decided to let the russicisms, as “which holds” for “such that”, remain unedited.

The second entry in the index is “Able test” with references to pages 102, 114, and 116. None of the pages contains the term or anything like it. In the index under “Areas”, we see “heron’s formula” and are directed to page 2. The book has no page 2. Immediately after page xvi comes page 21. There’s no formula for area, of a bird or anything else, on page ii, or on page 22.

The mathematics appears to be correct, but I couldn’t recommend buying the book.

If Woody Dudley needed the equation of a hyperboloid of two sheets, he would use Google.

The table of contents is not available.