# A Brief Introduction to Engineering Computation with MATLAB

Serhat Beyenir

Copyright Year: 2011

Publisher: Serhat Beyenir

Language: English

## Formats Available

## Conditions of Use

Attribution

CC BY

## Reviews

This is not a textbook that can be used alone for a course like "numerical analysis". It is more like one out of many books for a course like "intro to engineering" "capstone design" which might require some MATLAB skills. It is a quick guideline... read more

This is not a textbook that can be used alone for a course like "numerical analysis". It is more like one out of many books for a course like "intro to engineering" "capstone design" which might require some MATLAB skills. It is a quick guideline for someone who never used MATLAB before, and have all the essential parts of MATLAB that engineering students should expect to use frequently

content is accurate and unbiased

MATLAB software updates yearly. From the images in the textbook, it looks like the author is using a relatively old version MATLAB for demonstration. The code in the textbook is unlikely to change (as these are the frequently used essential ones), but the interface is different, that readers using the most recent version MATLAB might not be able to find the same icon at the same place.

The book is clear and reader-friendly. This book might look like a book version "MATLAB help center", but it does a very good job explaining each parts (which you cannot always get from MATLAB help center)

the text is consistent

There are no enormous blocks of text. The author organized it into chapters/subchapters with different reading sections (text, example, problem, solution). These are all very consistent. However, visually, it is hard to tell apart from each section as they are all in the same color with a similar font size.

The book covers topics in a logical fashion, and each chapter contains text, example, problem, and solution in a consistent and clear manner

I think the interface needs to be improved in general. 1. for the version I get, I cannot click things on the table of content and jump to a certain section. I have to remember the page number, manually type the page number, and then get to the chapter I want. 2. Because there are so many scripts, the alignment of each page is not very neat. 3. All of the texts are in the same color, and it can be really hard to tell which part is the text which part is script sometimes

No grammar issues as of noticed

It is solely based on engineering programming knowledge and does not involve cultural issues

The Matlab examples are too simple for engineering purpose. The content is not comprehensive as well. The title is engineering computation with MATLAB but the examples are not related to engineering problem at all. It is more like matlab manual... read more

The Matlab examples are too simple for engineering purpose. The content is not comprehensive as well. The title is engineering computation with MATLAB but the examples are not related to engineering problem at all. It is more like matlab manual instead of a textbook for teaching engineering students how to use MATLAB

Since the book examples are directly from matlab output. The content so far as I examined is accurate.

The book is relevant to MATLAB and how to use MATLAB. However, the examples are out of date and not that useful for engineering purposes. All the content without this book can be checked from MATLAB Manual. Therefore, it is not that useful.

It provides adequate context for students to repeat the examples.

The text is internally consistent in therms of terminology and framework

The structure of the book is fine. The text is easy to read as well. The figures are well presented as well.

Again, I would say the book is more like a MATLAB manual instead of a technical book for engineering students. It is also too simple and didn't show the power of MATLAB on Engineering purpose. For example, as a chemical engineering instructor, I would like to see some examples of ODE solver for chemical kinetics, numerical method for ODE and PDE, 3D or 2D contour plot for heat transfer, etc.

The text is free of significant interface issues.

No significant grammatical errors

The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.

Main concern: The book is more like a MATLAB manual.

It is also too simple and didn't show the power of MATLAB on Engineering purpose.

It didn't show how significant MATLAB on numerical method purpose.

For different engineerings (chemical engineering, electric engineering, mechanical engineering, etc), it is necessary to input some complex and comprehensive examples and literatures using MATLAB in the book.

For example, as a chemical engineering instructor, I would like to see some examples of ODE solver for chemical kinetics, numerical method for ODE and PDE, 3D or 2D contour plot for heat transfer, etc.

This book provides a nice introduction to some fundamental MATLAB concepts for the engineering students who want to learn and employ MATLAB for their projects. Using this book, students can understand how to implement solutions for several... read more

This book provides a nice introduction to some fundamental MATLAB concepts for the engineering students who want to learn and employ MATLAB for their projects. Using this book, students can understand how to implement solutions for several engineering problems in a simple way. However, this book can be expanded by including some important concepts and coding exercises for each chapter to make the students more familiar with MATLAB.

The content is accurate and error-free.

The content is up to date since the book covers majorly the fundamental concepts of MATLAB that will not be changed often.

The book is written clearly and easy to understand.

The consistency of the book is fine.

Modularity need to be improved by highlighting specific key concepts and adding clickable links.

The organization and flow of the content are well. However, subsections for important concepts need to be included to raise the benefits of the book.

There is no interface issue.

The book is well-written and there is no grammatical issue.

There is no cultural issue.

This book provides basic MATLAB concepts with simple examples. It will be understandable by the students very well themselves. It would be more beneficial if it adds some important concepts like user-defined functions, if statements, logical functions.

Book provides a clear, step-by-step introduction to using Matlab and then quickly progresses to applied problem-solving needs. Nicely concise and well balanced providing a needed gentle introductory learning curve that quickly progress thereafter... read more

Book provides a clear, step-by-step introduction to using Matlab and then quickly progresses to applied problem-solving needs. Nicely concise and well balanced providing a needed gentle introductory learning curve that quickly progress thereafter to useful applications.

Matlab does go through updates but most interface issues are (have been) relatively minor and the text remains useful.

Textbook materials in early sections is always at risk of becoming dated --- however that material is a needed component of the text. Updates are they become obviously necessary should be incorporated.

Well written, concise (to a fault) at times.

Good overall.

Yes, there are clearly sections and topics that can be subdivided and used at need.

Book provides a clear, step-by-step introduction to using Matlab and then quickly progresses to applied problem-solving needs. Nicely concise and well balanced providing a needed gentle introductory learning curve that quickly progress thereafter to useful applications.

Effective. More color at times (figures and text would be useful).

Good Overall.

... as this section cannot be blank: I do not feel able to address this issue in a suitably comprehensive way. Personally I didn't find / have any issues with the text.

Book provides a clear, step-by-step introduction to using Matlab and then quickly progresses to applied problem-solving needs. Nicely concise and well balanced providing a needed gentle introductory learning curve that quickly progress thereafter to useful applications.

This is a good book for beginners/first-year engineering students for getting familiar with Matlab. Throughout the book, students find some engineering problems and how to implement their solutions with Matlab. This text highlights a "brief... read more

This is a good book for beginners/first-year engineering students for getting familiar with Matlab. Throughout the book, students find some engineering problems and how to implement their solutions with Matlab.

This text highlights a "brief introduction" to Matlab. However, some of the key information is covered in such an abbreviated manner that students may not gain a sufficient understanding of certain key concepts.

Also, a couple of key concepts not discussed include "user defined functions" and "selection structures/logical functions".

No errors were detected.

It would be good to mention the availability of Simulink and specialized Toolboxes as additional resources.

Clarity was good. However, the abbreviated explanations for some of the material may prevent a thorough understanding for certain key concepts.

Consistency was good.

May be beneficial to add more chapters to emphasize and highlight certain key Matlab concepts.

May be beneficial to add more chapters to further break down the key concepts into individual sections.

No interface issues were noted.

No grammatical issues were noted.

No cultural issues were noted.

With some additional Matlab material, such as "user defined functions" and "selection structures/logical functions" and some reorganization of the chapters, this would be a prospective textbook for an introduction to Matlab course.

This is a good book for beginners/first-year engineering students in getting familiar with Matlab. Throughout the book, students find some engineering problems and how to implement their solutions with Matlab. It would be much more beneficial to... read more

This is a good book for beginners/first-year engineering students in getting familiar with Matlab. Throughout the book, students find some engineering problems and how to implement their solutions with Matlab. It would be much more beneficial to students if the book (or its newer versions) covers more engineering topics such as ODEs, optimization, and matrices and matrix algebra, ...

Even though this book is for Matlab, it could be worth to mention the free-ware alternative Octave - just in case students want to try at home but do not have Matlab installed.

It is accurate.

It is relevant and useful for engineering. The content will have a long life and even its syntax can/might survive through several rounds of Matlab's update.

The code is better-kept color-coded.

It is consistent.

It is easy to follow. Chapter 4 could be extended in more detail.

The structure of the book is logical and easy to follow.

It has a good interface.

The book is clear.

N/A

The book covers an introduction to the interface and some elementary MATLAB functions, but does not cover if statements, which are very important for MATLAB applications later in engineering courses. I think this is a major element which is... read more

The book covers an introduction to the interface and some elementary MATLAB functions, but does not cover if statements, which are very important for MATLAB applications later in engineering courses. I think this is a major element which is missing from this textbook. Also missing is discussion/use of characters and strings.

The content seems accurate, error-free, and unbiased

Content is currently up to date but revisions will need to be made as the software versions change (mostly the figures which are screenshots of the interface)

Textbook is written clearly

The textbook appears to be consistent in terms of terminology and framework

Modularity could be improved with clearly defined subsections within chapters with clickable links in the contents bar.

The order of the chapters seems logical but the organization within chapters is not easy to navigate. The organization and flow of the online version is much better than the PDF version, which does not make good use of the page spacing (e.g. lots of blank space). The organization of the online version navigation between subsections could be enhanced with clickable links in the contents bar.

For example: Chapter 5 Getting Started should have subsections for 1) Basic Computation, 2) Functions, 3) Variables, 4) Linear Equations, and 5) Polynomials

As previously noted, the chapters could be broken up into further sub-chapters to more easily navigate between them on the contents bar

The textbook appears to contain no major grammatical errors

The textbook does not use any offensive cultural material. However, the images at the start of each chapter could be used as an opportunity to showcase the variety of matlab applications/users. The use of the image of Albert Einstein for each chapter does not visually enhance the content, and is not necessarily related to Matlab directly.

Overall, this textbook is a basic introduction to MATLAB and provides relevant and accurate information on basic MATLAB skills. I would consider using it as a supplement to an introductory course which uses MATLAB but it is missing some important topics, such as if statements, which would improve the content.

This book serves as a nice introduction to Matlab for a first-year engineering student, but would benefit from a few additional topics to make it a truly comprehensive text for an introduction to engineering course. read more

This book serves as a nice introduction to Matlab for a first-year engineering student, but would benefit from a few additional topics to make it a truly comprehensive text for an introduction to engineering course.

I did not find any errors.

Though Matlab is constantly being updated and enhanced, the material covered in this book is unlikely to change from year-to-year.

The screenshots of the Matlab screen will make it relatively easy to follow for students. Learning Matlab is inherently challenging with respect to new jargon and terminology. Color coding code snippets and highlighting examples in separate boxes from the text would help the reader differentiate between content and code.

The organization and writing style is consistent throughout.

The use of short chapters make the text very amenable to breaking up into pieces that would fit individual lessons.

The complexity of topics grows in difficulty as one proceeds through the text, in a logical and well-paced manner.

This text was easy to navigate in a browser and as a PDF.

The writing was clear, straightforward, and error-free.

N/A

This text would work well for the beginning part of a course covering introduction to computer programming for engineers. It is well organized and the examples will be helpful for students. It would benefit from the addition of if-statements, user-defined functions and additional numerical methods topics/approaches.

The content can be more expanded to fit the curriculum of a college course. There are many things which are very important for college student to learn that were not mentioned such as solving systems of non linear equations, Simscape and Simulink... read more

The content can be more expanded to fit the curriculum of a college course. There are many things which are very important for college student to learn that were not mentioned such as solving systems of non linear equations, Simscape and Simulink as well as solving differential equations. I understand this is introductory level book, but these topics are very important and the reader should be at least informed about these tools within MATLAB and their usage. May be an introduction and simple example will be enough to show the potential of these tools. In addition, I believe the problem set and the exercises at the end of the chapter needs to be extended.

The accuracy is fine.

The book used matlab 2014, MATLAB has properly made some changes, but I think the content will be useful for a couple more years.

This is clear enough.

As far as I can see the terminology is fine.

The text is organized in a nice way.

The structure is fine.

There is a lot of empty spaces. The text and the image can be rearrange to make use of the whole page and every page.

I did not notice any grammatical problem. I think most reader will follow the code and execute their program.

I did not see anything that can be cultural sensitive.

No

This is a good book for all the students who want to use MATLAB for their projects for the first time. The materials are sufficient enough to help anyone who want to start learning MATLAB and do a project. As I have seen in several universities,... read more

This is a good book for all the students who want to use MATLAB for their projects for the first time. The materials are sufficient enough to help anyone who want to start learning MATLAB and do a project. As I have seen in several universities, all the engineering students learn Matlab by their own just relying on MATLAB Help. This book would be a great help for them. I will probably use it for my classes. There are few concepts that could be considered also in this book but keeping in mind the page limits, the book is perfect. This is a good book for all the students who want to use MATLAB for their projects for the first time. The materials are sufficient enough to help anyone who want to start learning MATLAB and do a project. As I have seen in several universities, all the engineering students learn Matlab by their own just relying on MATLAB Help. This book would be a great help for them. I will probably use it for my classes. There are few concepts that could be considered also in this book but keeping in mind the page limits, the book is perfect.

The content is accurate to my best of knowledge.

The content is up-to-date since the book includes mostly the basic of MATLAB that would rarely change.

The book is well-written and organized. The content is clear and understandable.

The text book is consistent and has a logical trend. There are enough examples for each sections that make the topics clear.

The book can be separated into smaller reading sections. So it can be easily taught in a class for several session.

The topics follow a logical trend and clear enough to understand.

I see no interface issue.

It is very well-written.

There is no culturally insensitive or offensive in any way.

I like the book very much. I see that most of the students in electrical engineering are suffering from coding with MATLAB. I was thinking about allocating some sessions of my class to teach MATLAB. This book can help me a lot and I will ask my students to read it by themselves since it is straightforward.

There is a tremendous amount that can be done in Matlab and this book is not attempting to be comprehensive in all of Matlab. In terms of a brief introduction to Matlab, I believe that this book is fairly complete. There are a few concepts that... read more

There is a tremendous amount that can be done in Matlab and this book is not attempting to be comprehensive in all of Matlab. In terms of a brief introduction to Matlab, I believe that this book is fairly complete. There are a few concepts that could be added but I think the best area to ensure completeness would be in the plotting chapter. I would add details about how to make animations and more plot formatting information.

The content is accurate and the provided code runs with no issues.

I believe that an introductory text such as this will always have relevance so long as Matlab is used in academics and research. This book is relevant for students who just need to know enough to communicate with other engineers as well as students who will eventually use Matlab for high-level research and development.

The writing is very clear and concise throughout. The introduction is especially well written and I will use it to replace a Matlab introductory lecture I previously used. The one drawback is it may be too concise in places where students may want to see two or more examples.

The book is consistent throughout where each section builds upon the last. I would anticipate that students would benefit from this.

The modularity is well defined and should be easy to assign sections for student learning. Some sections are larger than others and I would have liked to see more consistency. I think the figures make some sections look longer than they are but long sections can be deflating for students.

The organization makes perfect sense and is easy to follow. If I taught from this book I would use it in the exact way it is currently laid out.

The interface is great and I have had no issues reading and perusing the examples on my computer. I think there are some opportunities to show/hide sections of text, especially in some of the longer sections but this may not be possible.

No grammatical errors to report.

No cultural issues to report.

Overall this is a very nice resource that I will include with my course next semester and recommend to my colleagues.

As the title implies this is a brief introduction. It covers many of the fundamentals of using Matlab, however it is not a comprehensive text on the subject. This book would best be used as a reference for students taking an entry level course or... read more

As the title implies this is a brief introduction. It covers many of the fundamentals of using Matlab, however it is not a comprehensive text on the subject. This book would best be used as a reference for students taking an entry level course or a refresher for students already familiar with Matlab but out of practice. Some basic concepts like creating variables are overlooked, however these topics are well covered in training material provided by Matlab and freely available (i.e. Matlab Onramp).

I found all of the information presented to be accurate. There are no logic errors or incorrect explanations.

This text follows the fundamentals of using Matlab. Matlab as a program changes frequently, however most of the topics covered are not likely to change. However, the interface was updated several years ago, but some of the screen shots in the text still show the old version. This may be confusing to students that have never seen the previous versions.

Also, this text was written for use in a specific course, so the information in the first couple of sections is specific to that course and university. They would not be applicable to other courses.

I found the book to be very easy to read. The screen shots and problem sets were beneficial to the follow of the information. There is some engineering specific terminology, however, since engineers are the target audience for the text I do not see that as an issue.

The structure of the text is very consistent. Topics are presented with examples and syntax, followed by a problem set. Problem sets are appropriate for the level of learner and topic.

The book is set up to in well defined sections. However, since programming builds on itself it may not be feasible to completely separate the later chapters from the foundation in the earlier chapters with establishing that prior knowledge.

The text presents the information in a logical order. Each chapter introduces a slightly more challenging topic.

I reviewed the online version of the text on my mobile phone. There were no features that seemed to be degraded by being in that format. The screen shots could be zoomed, and the problem sets hid answers correctly until revealed. Occasionally, things were harder to read, but that is mostly due to the nature of matlab syntax.

I found no grammatical errors.

The book does not address any cultural issues.

This book is a good foundation in using Matlab. While I do not believe it is robust enough to be the complete text for a course, it does cover many important Matlab concepts for engineers. Since it is specific for a course at a particular university it would be best to assign specific portions for reading or to modify the book to your needs. Overall, I think it is a solid introduction to a program that is heavily used in the engineering industry.

The search tool for this textbook is convenient and functions like an index. This book is not meant to be comprehensive and is appropriately titled as a brief introduction. read more

The search tool for this textbook is convenient and functions like an index. This book is not meant to be comprehensive and is appropriately titled as a brief introduction.

The examples I reviewed were accurate.

The screenshots that show the MATLAB interface can be easily updated if major changes to the MATLAB software should ever be made.

The text was concise and appropriate for beginning students.

The framework is consistent. Each chapter includes a set of practice exercises, with solutions that can be revealed, if desired.

It would be easy to assign students to read particular chapters of this book to review computational approaches. For example, assigning the numerical integration chapter as a review just before this topic would be needed to solve problems in an upper-level engineering course.

There is one topic per chapter and that makes the book particularly easy to follow.

The book is very easy to navigate.

No grammatical errors were found.

The topic of this book is not one where cultural sensitivities arise. The examples used do not rely on cultural context and that is appropriate for a beginning computations textbook.

This book is a good companion textbook for engineering courses that require use of MATLAB for homework problems and course projects. Students often forget the basics from the engineering computations course taken in the first year of study, and instructors in upper-level undergraduate courses cannot spend class time reviewing MATLAB computations. This textbook will help students refresh their skills and practice approaches.

In the Study Guide, a few of the study guidelines for students are too specific to the author’s course:

Bullet point 4: Writing about “muddy points”, the author instructs students to collect those and email the author before the next class period

Bullet point 5: The open book exam tips also seem specific to the author’s style of writing assessments for courses taught by the author. This may vary quite a bit with instructor.

I recommend revising these study tips to be more general.

In "4.1 What is MATLAB", the Running MATLAB section has specific instructions for BCIT students. This would need to be changed by other instructors who adopt this textbook.

The book is for a beginner level. There is always room to high higher level examples. read more

The book is for a beginner level. There is always room to high higher level examples.

I found all the material accurate.

The book is outside of my area and I cannot provide feedback on the currentness of the material. However, it is quite relevant for anyone trying to learn using MATLAB.

The book is well written for any beginner to get started with the software. The example in particular make it very clear.

Yes,

The book is written in a old style without much attention to modularity

The organization of the book is good, I particularly like the examples and the problem set with solution which will be helpful for the instructor a well as the students in the class.

I did not find any interface issues

The book is well written and is free of grammatical errors.

For this subject there are no cultural issues

While the book was outside of my own area of expertise, but it was a very good review for me. Now, I feel comfortable to start using MATLAB and I imagine the students with this little effort will also feel the same way. I will be helpful to add some more high resolution screenshots in the book. The images included are not the best quality.

## Table of Contents

- Chapter 1: Introduction
- Chapter 2: Getting Started
- Chapter 3: Graphics
- Chapter 4: Introductory Programming
- Chapter 5: Interpolation
- Chapter 6: Numerical Integration
- Chapter 7: Regression Analysis
- Chapter 8: Publishing with MATLAB

## Ancillary Material

## About the Book

A Brief Introduction to Engineering Computation with MATLAB is specifically designed for students with no programming experience. However, students are expected to be proficient in First Year Mathematics and Sciences and access to good reference books are highly recommended. Students are assumed to have a working knowledge of the Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows operating systems. The strategic goal of the course and book is to provide learners with an appreciation for the role computation plays in solving engineering problems. MATLAB specific skills that students are expected to be proficient at are: write scripts to solve engineering problems including interpolation, numerical integration and regression analysis, plot graphs to visualize, analyze and present numerical data, and publish reports.

## About the Contributors

### Author

**Serhat Beyenir, **British Columbia Institute of Technology