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A Treatise on the Theory of Determinants; with Graduated Sets of Exercises for Use in Colleges and Schools

Nature volume 25, pages 551552 | Download Citation

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Abstract

There has been a tendency of late among some of our mathematical writers to specialise their labours; thus, Dr. C. Taylor has confined his work chiefly, if not mainly, to the geometry of conics; and our present author, to the subject of determinants. This is, we think, a good practice. Mr. Muir is no novice, and has done good work in this field, much of which is original. We have long desiderated some such work as this. Mr. Scott's is very able, but we cannot but think it is hard for junior students. Mr. Muir, we are disposed to believe, has made the introduction to the subject easier for this class, at the same time that he brings before the reader all that could be expected in a text-book. The work before us consists of three chapters, the two first of which do not err on the side of brevity; but this fulness serves a purpose, viz. “that the reader may become thoroughly familiarised with the definition,” which, by the way, is too long for us to reproduce here. Though the enunciation is long, the idea is easily grasped, and when taken in connection with the illustrations, is not likely to give much trouble to the student to master it. These chapters, as indeed the remaining one also, are copiously illustrated by graduated exercises. The third chapter is much more condensed in style, and treats of determinants of special form, viz. continuants, alternants, symmetric determinants, Skew determinants, and Pfaffians, compound determinants, and determinants whose elements are differential coefficients of a set of functions, to wit Jacobians, Hessians, and Wronskians.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/025551b0

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