It has been almost a year now since the linear algebra book is “almost finished.” I don’t have any real, legitimate excuse for this delay. The first seven chapters are now done, and have been thoroughly edited and finalized. What is taking forever is finishing the applications chapters, which I’m being super slow at. The only thing I can say in my defense is that there are A LOT of applications of linear algebra, and writing about even a small part of them takes a lot of time.
Okay, so what’s coming?
- The applications chapter covers topics in cryptography, error correcting codes, network coding, Fourier analysis, as well as the standard topics of least-squares fitting and solving equations.
- I’ve decided to cut the section on linear programming (the simplex method). Despite trying very hard to make the material interesting and concise, I wasn’t able to. It’s just a boring-as-hell topic, so I don’t see the point of including it in the book. The text is almost done though, so I’ll probably release it as a free PDF for students who have to do this in their class.
- I added a new chapter on probability theory, Markov chains, and quantum mechanics. This will be optional reading, but I think I managed to fit all the important things (Dirac notation, postulates of QM, quantum gates, examples, etc.) to make a decent introduction to the subject.
The final version of the book will be around 450 pages, which is kind of chunky. Not cool, but I think it’s good to include the chapter on probability theory and QM, even though they are not “core” for a linear algebra class. What do y’all think? Should I include prob. theory and QM or cut it to make the book shorter by 60 pages (reply in the comments or by email)?
The other good news™ is my friend agreed to prepare exercises and problems for the book, which means the first edition (v1.0) will be very solid and complete. Estimated time of release is circa February 1st. Dear readers, I apologize for the massive delays. Hang in there, LA is coming!
3 thoughts on “Progress on linear algebra”
November 18, 2015 — 9:23 pm
I think Probability Theory and Quantum Mechanics will help broaden the subject of Linear Algebra. I know for me that’s why I’m interested in learning Linear Algebra. Plus, I really enjoyed your previous book, “No Bullshit Guide to Math and Physics”. So, if you wish to broaden Math to a bigger audience, I think it would be best to keep Quantum Mechanics and Probability Theory application chapters in because they seem like topics that can help get people more invested in Linear Algebra.
November 19, 2015 — 4:56 pm
Thanks for the feedback. I’m strongly siding on keeping the material now, as it won’t add too much pages and I get to talk about a really cool subject.