"The straight-forward clarity of the writing is admirable." -- American Mathematical Monthly
This work provides an elementary and easily readable account of linear algebra, in which the exposition is sufficiently simple to make it equally useful to readers whose principal interests lie in the fields of physics or technology. The account is self-contained, and the reader is not assumed to have any previous knowledge of linear algebra. Although its accessibility makes it suitable for non-mathematicians, Professor Mirsky's book is nevertheless a systematic and rigorous development of the subject.
Part I deals with determinants, vector spaces, matrices, linear equations, and the representation of linear operators by matrices. Part II begins with the introduction of the characteristic equation and goes on to discuss unitary matrices, linear groups, functions of matrices, and diagonal and triangular canonical forms. Part II is concerned with quadratic forms and related concepts. Applications to geometry are stressed throughout; and such topics as rotation, reduction of quadrics to principal axes, and classification of quadrics are treated in some detail. An account of most of the elementary inequalities arising in the theory of matrices is also included. Among the most valuable features of the book are the numerous examples and problems at the end of each chapter, carefully selected to clarify points made in the text.