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This well-respected text gives an introduction to the theory and application of modern numerical approximation techniques for students taking a one- or two-semester course in numerical analysis. With an accessible treatment that only requires a calculus prerequisite, Burden and Faires explain how, why, and when approximation techniques can be expected to work, and why, in some situations, they fail. A wealth of examples and exercises develop students'' intuition, and demonstrate the subject''s practical applications to important everyday problems in math, computing, engineering, and physical science disciplines. The first book of its kind built from the ground up to serve a diverse undergraduate audience, three decades later Burden and Faires remains the definitive introduction to a vital and practical subject.