Economics Network CHEER Virtual Edition

Volume 10 Issue 3, 1996


Book Reviews

Barry Murphy
Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth
Kutzler, Bernhard, Improving Mathematics Teaching with DERIVE, 185 pp., £14.50 Hill, Robert J. and Thomas A. Keagy, Elementary Linear Algebra with DERIVE, 392 pp., £14.95

Rade, Lennart and Bertil Westergren, Mathematics Handbook for Science and Engineering, 539 pp., £18.00

Backstrom, Gunnar, Practical Mathematics Using MATLAB, 165 pp., £14.95

Rich, Nelson, Judith Rose and Lawrence Gilligan, Mastering the I-92: Explorations from Algebra through Calculus, 200 pp., price n.a.

All published or distributed by: Chartwell-Bratt, Old Orchard, Bickley Road, Bromley, Kent BR1 2NE, U.K.

DERIVE is a symbolic algebra and graphing package that will run on virtually any PC, has a large literature for school and university users, and is available to students almost for the price of a textbook (Murphy (1996)). Bernhard Kutz ler is the author of an introduction to DERIVE which is a model of how to write a self-study guide to mathematical software (Murphy (1995)). In this new book, Kutzler, an expert on DERIVE teaching in the Austrian school curriculum, presents a linked series of 7 chapters on the design and implementation of mathematics courses using DERIVE. As was to be expected, the exposition is a model of clarity, and the book will be of interest to all teachers and lecturers who use or are thinking of using DERIVE with their students.

Hill and Keagy give a complete introduction to linear algebra with DERIVE, covering vectors, matrices, linear transformations, determinants, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. They also introduces least squares methods, Markov processes, and difference and differential equations. The book is entirely self-contained, provides full DERIVE instructions and screen dumps, and gives solutions to hundreds of selected exercises. Use of DERIVE means that many time-consuming calculations are covered efficiently, and that more advanced topics can be emphasised. This is an excellent ad innovative text which is suitable for a 1-semester course in linear algebra for first- or second-year undergraduate students of economics, statistics, mathematics and related subjects.

Rade and Westergren is an extensive catalogue of mathematical methods, results, and tables which will be useful in the reference section of any school or university library. Topics treated include elementary algebra and geometry, differential and integral calculus, linear algebra, differential equations, vector analysis, Fourier series and complex analysis, numerical analysis, and probability and statistics. From the viewpoint of economics the coverage of statistical and econometric method is a little thin, but the main thought that this excellent and comprehensive handbook suggests is how very far we still are from being able to provide an accessible computer-based resource, even with the power of the Internet, that could match the information presented here between two covers.

Backstrom gives a short account of some mathematical methods for first-year undergraduate scientists and engineers in terms of the software package MATLAB. The presentation is clear and attractive, and is suitable for students who will be learning MATLAB in any case.

Rich, Rose and Gilligan give an account of topics from school and elementary undergraduate mathematics using the graphing and symbolic algebra facilities of the Texas Instruments TI-92 calculator. The book is extensively illustrated, and demonstrates just how much mathematics can now be implemented on a palm-top machine.


Murphy, B. "DERIVE 3: A Review", Economic Journal, Vol. 106, No. 434, pp. 257-264, 1996

Murphy, B. "Mathematics on the PC by Kutzler and Mathematics with Excel by Sjöstrand", Computers in Higher Education Economics Review (CHEER), Vol. 9, Issue 2, pp. 32-33, 1995.

Barry Murphy, Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth, Southsea PO4 8JF
Telephone +44 (0)1705 844141

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