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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lang or Artin?

Although I still have decades of stuff to cover before I can really compare Lang and Artin I do have an opinion. Those who studied either or both of them seem to agree on one thing: neither of the books should be used as a text for a course, let alone for self-study: they are works of reference. Now that's strange because at least Artin's book was written from many years of course notes. I think the books should be studied but with many companion books to help you get through. Artin wrote in the preface: "...Sometimes the exercise of deferring material showed that it could be deferred forever - that it was not essential. This happened with dual spaces and multilinear algebra. ..." I tried to start reading Representation theory, by Fulton and Harris with nothing more than an undergraduate abstract algebra introduction as preparation. I couldn't finish the book because it was packed with topics from multilinear algebra. - I have been warned, warned and warned to take it easy but I go for Lang, why not? Mathematics grew into my fascination and passion. What else can I do?

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(Raumpatrouille – Die phantastischen Abenteuer des Raumschiffes Orion, colloquially aka Raumpatrouille Orion was the first German science fiction television series. Its seven episodes were broadcast by ARD beginning September 17, 1966. The series has since acquired cult status in Germany. Broadcast six years before Star Trek first aired in West Germany (in 1972), it became a huge success.)