Methods for solving engineering problems using analog computers. Chapters 9 and 10 contributed by Arnold Levine. (English) Zbl 1117.65300

New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Book Co. xiii, 485 p. (1964).
The authors have produced a most welcome and long overdue addition to the literature on analog computing methods. The carefully described methods will become increasingly important as more groups begin to use hybrid computers. However, this should not be taken to mean that this text is limited to analog-digital combinations. On the contrary, the text is a most valuable guide to general analog methods.
It is important to note that both authors deal very well with both theory and practice. Analytic methods for treating differential equations receive an unusually good treatment considering this to be a “computer” text. This reviewer feels that we have passed well through the “enchantment” stage and it is important that our texts begin to reflect an awareness of the computer in prespective. As a second example of the important sophistication displayed in this text, both authors deal carefully with the problems of error detection and reduction. And, statistical procedures and applications of statistics in the area of analog computation receive the attention of no less than three of the eleven chapters in the text.
On the side of practice, it has been difficult for many authors to refrain from producing a kind of operating manual for a rather specific product line. In this text, however, very little of the material presented will become obsolete as new generations of machines are devised. By recognising those aspects of practice which are most basic and important and by avoiding the snares of particular types of hardware, the text should be valuable for a rather long time as these things go.
One of the more important criticisms of this text lies in its index. The wealth of material contained in this text deserves and almost requires careful cross-indexing. This text will be used often as a reference long after it has been used in the classroom. In this light, the brevity of the index is unfortunate.
Nonetheless, this text should receive careful attention from many quarters and should be required reading for budding authors in the field of analog computation.


65-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to numerical analysis
76Mxx Basic methods in fluid mechanics
74Sxx Numerical and other methods in solid mechanics