Matrix Analysis and Applied Linear Algebra is an honest math text that circumvents the traditional definition-theorem-proof format that has bored students in the past. Meyer uses a fresh approach to introduce a variety of problems and examples ranging from the elementary to the challenging and from simple applications to discovery problems. The focus on applications is a big difference between this book and others. Meyer's book is more rigorous and goes into more depth than some. He includes some of the more contemporary topics of applied linear algebra which are not normally found in undergraduate textbooks. Modern concepts and notation are used to introduce the various aspects of linear equations, leading readers easily to numerical computations and applications. The theoretical developments are always accompanied with examples, which are worked out in detail. Each section ends with a large number of carefully chosen exercises from which the students can gain further insight.
The textbook contains more than 240 examples, 650 exercises, historical notes, and comments on numerical performance and some of the possible pitfalls of algorithms. It comes with a solutions manual that includes complete solutions to all of the exercises. As a bonus, a CD-ROM is included that contains a searchable copy of the entire textbook and all solutions. Detailed information on topics mentioned in examples, references for additional study, thumbnail sketches and photographs of mathematicians, and a history of linear algebra and computing are also on the CD-ROM, which can be used on all platforms.
Students will love the book's clear presentation and informal writing style. The detailed applications are valuable to them in seeing how linear algebra is applied to real-life situations. One of the most interesting aspects of this book, however, is the inclusion of historical information. These personal insights into some of the greatest mathematicians who developed this subject provide a spark for students and make the teaching of this topic more fun.