I found what seems to be a good linear algebra book. However, I want a more theoretical as opposed to computational linear algebra book. The book is Linear Algebra with Applications 7th edition by Gareth Williams. How high quality is this? Will it provide me with a good background in linear algebra?
I don't really know the book you are talking about, so I can't give you an opinion on that. I suggest that you take a look at:
I have always preferred Linear Algebra Done Wrong, a set of notes by Sergei Treil, over Axler's book, which, while being completely rigorous, is a practical introduction with a view to its applications.
I'm not an expert on Linear Algebra, but I would seriously recommend the book Linear Algebra by Jim Hefferson. On top of being free to download, it has a highly motivational approach. Every other textbook on the subject that I read went like this (my reactions in italic):
- Linear Algebra is the study of the solving of systems of linear equations. No problem!
- Matrices are a nice shorthand for expressing linear systems and Gauss' method is an elegant method of solving them. Neat-o!
- Anyway here are pages and pages of unmotivated definitions which apparantly have nothing to do with lienar systems, equations, or even Gauss's method. Learn them off by heart and please don't pay attention to the fact that we're apparantly just shuffling matrix entries around according to meaningless and artificial rules. W-what?
Linear Algebra explained things I thought very nicely. Even the parts that I didn't quite understand (like why "echelon form" matrices are worth study, when at first glance they appears to be a merely typographical rather than mathematical notion) were presented in such a way as to leave me with a sense of mystery rather than frustration ("Wow, why would an apparantly merely typographical notion have such interesting mathematical properties? I should learn more." rather than "What? This is just typography, not math. Screw off with your arbitrary definitions, book." as too often happens when definitions are unmotivated).
Some of the exercices are also excellent. In the early chapters you'll often find an exercice to which your initial reaction is "...what does this have to do with Linear Algebra?". That is, working out how linear algebra can be used to solve the problem is part of the exercice, thus developping your feel for the applications and motivations of the subject.
The books by Axler and Hoffman & Kunze come to mind, as mentioned by others.
Let me suggest Halmos' Finite-Dimensional Vector Spaces (published by Springer). It is very neat, and it works mostly in a coordinate-free way. Another way of seeing it is that it does things in finite-dimensional vector spaces in a style that is used for infinite-dimensional vector spaces.
A book that is not a linear algebra book, but contains some excellent bits of linear algebra is "Differential Equations, Dynamical Systems and Linear Algebra", by Hirsch and Smale. I'm talking about the 1974 edition, not the recent one with Devaney as a co-author (I don't know that edition, I heard it is quite changed; maybe someone can chip in here). It is truly a gem.
I may be a little late responding to this, but I really enjoyed teaching from the book Visual Linear Algebra. It included labs that used Maple that I had students complete in pairs. We then were able to discuss their findings in the context of the theorems and concepts presented in the rest of the text. I think for many of them it helped make abstract concepts like eigenvectors more concrete.
1) Linear Algebra by Hoffman and Kunge, 2) Linear Algbra by G. Strang, 3) Linear Algebra by Helson, 4) Introduction to linear algebra by V. Krishnamurthy 5) University Algebra by N. S. Gopalkrishanan 6) A First Course in Abstract Algebra by Fraleigh, J. B. If you explain what you exactly want? then I can suggest u better also.