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5th edition

Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Differential Forms: A Unified Approach

John Hubbard and Barbara Burke Hubbard

818 pages, hardcover, smythe-sewn binding, 8 x 10 inches $87. Sept. 2015
ISBN 9780971576681

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This 5th edition contains all the things that made the earlier editions different from other textbooks.  Among others:

  • Integrating linear algebra and multivariable calculus
  • Using effective algorithms to prove the main theorems (Newton's method and the implicit function theorem, for instance)
  • A new approach to both Riemann integration and Lebesgue integration
  • Manifolds and a serious introduction to differential geometry
  • A new way of introducing differential forms and the exterior derivative.

There is also new material, in response to requests from computer science colleagues:

  •  More big matrices!  We included the Perron-Frobenius theorem, and its application to Google's PageRank algorithm
  •  More singular values!  We included a detailed proof of the singular value decomposition, and show how it applies to facial recognition: "how does Facebook apply names to pictures?"

Student Solution Manual for 5th edition

book cover


"Superb on all counts" - review in CHOICE (review of 1st edition)

"A real gem" - review of 2nd edition, MAA Monthly

Praise from readers

Review of 3rd edition, MAA Reviews

Look inside this book (sample pages, pdf)


Why a 5th edition? 

The initial impetus for producing a new edition rather than  reprinting the fourth edition was to reconcile differences in numbering (propositions, examples, etc.) in the first and second printings of the fourth edition.

An additional impetus came from discussions John Hubbard had  at an AMS meeting in Washington, DC, in October 2014. Mathematicians and computer scientists there told him that existing textbooks lack examples of ``big matrices''. This led to two new examples illustrating the power of linear algebra and calculus:  Example 2.7.12, showing how Google uses the Perron-Frobenius theorem to rank  web pages, and Example 3.8.10, showing how the singular value decomposition (Theorem 3.8.1) can be used for computer face recognition.

The more we worked on the new edition, the more we wanted to change. An inclusive list is impossible; here are some additional highlights.

  • In several places in the fourth edition (for instance, the proof of Proposition 6.4.8 on orientation-preserving parametrizations) we noted that ``in Chapter 3 we failed to define the differentiability of functions defined on manifolds, and now we pay the price''.  
    For this edition we ``paid the price'' (Proposition and Definition 3.2.9) and  the effort paid off handsomely, allowing us to shorten and simplify a number of proofs.
  • We rewrote the discussion of multi-index notation in Section 3.3.
  • We rewrote the proof of Stokes's theorem and moved most of it out of the Appendix and into the main text.
  • We added Example 2.4.17 on Fourier series.
  • We rewrote the discussion of classifying constrained critical points.
  • We use  differentiation under the integral sign to compute the Fourier transform of the Gaussian, and discuss its relation to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
  • We added a new proposition (2.4.18) about orthonormal bases.
  • We greatly expanded the discussion of  orthogonal matrices.
  • We added a new section in Chapter 3 on finite probability, showing the connection between probability and geometry. The new section also includes the statement and proof of   the singular value decomposition.
  • We added about 40  new exercises.

Preface (excerpt in html, with link to complete preface in pdf)

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Student Solution Manual for 5th edition

Math programs used in the book

Table of contents (in pdf)

When errata are found, they will be posted at errata

book cover