Math 503: Complex Analysis, in the Fall, 1997, semester
Preface Background Syllabus Homework Links to 503 technical pages The text

The textbook and some alternatives

The text I've chosen is An Introduction to Complex Function Theory, by B. Palka, Springer-Verlag (1991). I've taught Math 503 a number of times. I've used different texts each of the preceding three occasions (texts written by Ahlfors, Conway, and Remmert respectively). I requested information from graduate students contrasting these texts and asking about any others. My stated criteria were:

I think that my choice fulfills much of this list. The last time I presented this course I wrote the following:

Here is a short list of a few other complex variables texts, including some of my personal favorites:

I investigated a number of books published recently, and looked at books recommended by graduate students. I chose the text by Palka. It is certainly appropriate for a graduate level course in spite of its inclusion in the Springer series of Undergraduate (!) Texts in Mathematics. You can examine its contents . Palka's text has a number of neatly worked out examples and covers the material appropriately. There's a good selection of exercises. I've only found one that's wrong so far: either careful editing or lazy reading! Perhaps the only deficiency I've noticed so far is that there's no systematic exposition of the D-bar equation which is a strength of Narasimhan's text.

Note, please, that the cost of Palka's book is approximately half the cost of Ahlfors's book.

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Maintained by and last modified 6/22/97.