SIAM News Blog

SIREV Book Reviews

By David Watkins

The greatest challenge of this job is to find just the right reviewer for each book. Personal contacts get one only so far; I know lots of people in or near my own research area, but not so many in the larger applied mathematics community. So where do I look for reviewers? The Internet, of course! By searching the web I can find lots of names. But this approach has a drawback: the names I am most likely to find are those of very senior people, who are often too busy to write a review. Up-and-coming younger workers, who might have the time and might benefit from the exposure, are much less visible. I would like to find you.

Writing book reviews can be fun and rewarding. You spend some time with the book, get to know it well, then try to write something interesting and informative for the community. This is not a waste of time. You will surely learn something in the process. Moreover, if you write good reviews, they will be noticed.

If you (young or old) think that you would like to try your hand at writing reviews, please let me know (or contact one of the other members of the editorial board). Send me an email ([email protected]) or introduce yourself at a meeting. Tell me (preferably in not too much detail) what interests you; perhaps I’ll be able to find something for you.

In this issue we are pleased to offer you a timely review by Nick Trefethen of a large tome that is scheduled to appear this month, namely, The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics, edited by Nicholas J. Higham. This ambitious project is in the same spirit and style as The Princeton Companion to Mathematics, edited by Timothy Gowers, which appeared seven years ago. I hope you enjoy Nick’s review.

In addition we have reviews of books on a wide variety of topics, including numerical linear algebra, risk and portfolio analysis, stochastic chemical kinetics, quantum mechanics, and computational complexity theory.

Read the reviews! (Requires subscription or SIAM membership)

Book ReviewsSIAM Rev., 57(3), 469-480.

David Watkins is the section editor of SIAM Review.

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