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Introduction to GNU Octave: A brief tutorial for linear algebra and calculus students

(1 review)

Jason Lachniet, Wytheville Community College

Pub Date: 2017

Publisher: Independent

Language: English

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Reviewed by Julia Varbolow, Associate Professor, Thomas Nelson Community College on 3/28/19

The text seems to cover all the introductory topics for a new user to GNU Octave. The index and glossary were effective. I believe I could readily use this for a great deal of the computational or graphing my students use in my Introductory... read more


Table of Contents



1 Basic operation

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Navigating the GUI
  • 1.3 Matrices and vectors
  • 1.4 Plotting
  • Chapter 1 Exercises

2 Matrices and linear systems

  • 2.1 Linear systems
  • 2.2 Polynomial curve fitting
  • 2.3 Matrix transformations
  • Chapter 2 Exercises

3 Calculus

  • 3.1 Limits, sequences, and series
  • 3.2 Numerical integration
  • 3.3 Parametric, polar, and implicit functions
  • 3.4 Complex variables
  • 3.5 Special functions
  • 3.6 Symbolic operations
  • Chapter 3 Exercises

4 Eigenvalue problems

  • 4.1 Eigenvalues and eigenvectors
  • 4.2 Markov chains
  • 4.3 Diagonalization
  • 4.4 Singular value decomposition
  • 4.5 Gram-Schmidt and the QR algorithm
  • Chapter 4 Exercises

5 Additional topics

  • 5.1 Three dimensional graphs
  • 5.2 Multiple integrals
  • 5.3 Vector fields
  • 5.4 Statistics
  • 5.5 Differential equations
  • Chapter 5 Exercises

6 Applied projects

  • 6.1 SVD and digital image compression
  • 6.2 The Gini index and nonlinear curve-fitting
  • 6.3 Designing a helical strake: arc length and curvature
  • 6.4 Modeling a cave passage: cubic spline curves
  • 6.5 Graphs of surfaces and 3D-printing

A MATLAB compatibility

B List of Octave commands



About the Book

This brief book provides a noncomprehensive introduction to GNU Octave, a free open source alternative to MatLab. The basic syntax and usage is explained through concrete examples from the mathematics courses a math, computer science, or engineering major encounters in the first two years of college: linear algebra, calculus, and differential equations.

About the Contributors


Jason Lachniet, Wytheville Community College