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I want to start learning Linear Algebra, I have no background about this subject except high school mathematics that doesn't includes complex number and matrices. I found the following books: Introduction to Linear Algebra by Gilbert Strang and Linear Algebra Done Right and I can't decide which one to choose (if you know a better book, I would like to know). I also would like to know if there is a practice book or a website with exercises that includes solutions.


marked as duplicate by rschwieb, M Turgeon, AlexR, Dan Rust, azimut Dec 13 '13 at 21:39

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  • $\begingroup$ You might want to peruse these posts: math.stackexchange.com/questions/160056/…, math.stackexchange.com/questions/445115/…, math.stackexchange.com/questions/4335/… $\endgroup$ – Amzoti Dec 13 '13 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ I think that if you really want to learn something new, you need to read both even others. In fact none book is really perfect, and learning several books in the same time will make you understanding better. That's my experience. $\endgroup$ – Martial Dec 13 '13 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ If you have any sense at all someone might have asked this question before, you really ought to use the search function before posting the question. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – rschwieb Dec 13 '13 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ both books dont contatin full solved excercises $\endgroup$ – Michael Dec 13 '13 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ As people have already pointed out Axler, I will give a shoutout to Friedberg, Insel and Spence's "Linear Algebra". A fantastic book that is highly readable (on par with Spivak's "Calculus" in Analysis). This book has a good blend of examples and questions in both computation and theory. $\endgroup$ – Chris K Dec 13 '13 at 17:08

I think that "Linear Algebra with Applications by Steven Leon" and "Linear Algebra and it's Applications by David Lay" are good introductory textbooks for Linear Algebra. They are both good for the computational aspect of the subject and they do a good job of proving main properties and giving interesting elementary proof problems if you're interested. I personally did not care for Gilbert Strang's Linear Algebra textbook. However, I am one of the few people who feels this way. Others really like it. I think Sheldon Axler's Linear Algebra Done Right is a great textbook, but not the best for an introduction to the subject, especially if you aren't familiar with the subject.

  • $\begingroup$ You are not alone in your view of Strang's book. If you look at the reviews on amazon.com, you will see many negative reviews along with the positive ones. I tried to teach from it once and will not use it again. I used Lay's book the second time. I think it has many flaws but much prefer it to Strang's. I am not familiar with any others. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Smith Dec 13 '13 at 21:23
  • $\begingroup$ I agree. Another good Linear Algebra book that I thought was very proof intensive was "Linear Algebra by Stephen Friedberg". It was difficult at first, but after some time it was great. $\endgroup$ – 1233dfv Dec 13 '13 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ Lay is for Math54 and Friedberg is for Math110 (2nd abstract course) in Berkeley. And this is kind of an optimal approach. Personally I prefer Leon to Lay but they are both good. Strang's book does not work for me. Axler is better but too concise and has no applications. $\endgroup$ – irudyak Apr 29 '18 at 22:27

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