About the Text Co-authored by Dr. Gagliardi
Linear Algebra with Applications is an introductory text targeted to second or advanced first year undergraduates in engineering or mathematics. The organization of this text is motivated by the authors' experience which tells them what essential concepts should be mastered by students in a one semester undergraduate Linear Algebra course. The authors' main objectives are to fully develop each topic before moving on and to connect topics naturally. The authors take great care to meet both these objectives, because this organization will allow instructors teaching from this text to stay on task so that each topic can be covered with the depth required before progressing to the next logical one. As a result the reader is prepared for each new unit and there is no need to repeat a concept in a subsequent chapter when it is utilized.
This text is geared towards an introductory linear algebra course taken by first or second year undergraduate students. However, it offers the opportunity to introduce the importance of abstraction, not only in mathematics, but in many other areas where Linear Algebra is used. The textbook’s approach is to take advantage of this opportunity by presenting abstract vector spaces as early as possible. Throughout the text, the authors are mindful of the difficulties that students at this level have with abstraction and introduce new concepts first through examples which gently illustrate the idea. To motivate the definition of an abstract vector space, and the subtle concept of linear independence, the authors use addition and scalar multiplication of vectors in Euclidean Space. The authors have strived to create a balance between computation, problem solving, and abstraction. This approach equips students with the necessary skills and problem solving strategies in an abstract setting that allows for a greater understanding and appreciation for the numerous applications of the subject.