A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving

2nd Edition - June 30, 2011

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  • Author: Stormy Attaway
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123850829

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MATLAB: A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving, Second Edition, is the only book that gives a full introduction to programming in MATLAB combined with an explanation of MATLAB’s powerful functions, enabling engineers to fully exploit the software’s power to solve engineering problems. The text aims to provide readers with the knowledge of the fundamentals of programming concepts and the skills and techniques needed for basic problem solving using MATLAB as the vehicle. The book presents programming concepts such as variables, assignments, input/output, and selection statements as well as MATLAB built-in functions side-by-side, giving students the ability to program efficiently and exploit the power of MATLAB to solve problems. In-depth coverage is given to input/output, a topic that is fundamental to many engineering applications. A systematic, step-by-step approach that builds on concepts is used throughout the book, facilitating easier learning. There are also sections on ‘common pitfalls’ and ‘programming guidelines’ that direct students towards best practice. This book will be an invaluable resource for engineers, engineering novices, and students learning to program and model in MATLAB.

Key Features

  • Presents programming concepts and MATLAB built-in functions side-by-side, giving students the ability to program efficiently and exploit the power of MATLAB to solve problems
  • In depth coverage of file input/output, a topic essential for many engineering applications
  • Systematic, step-by-step approach, building on concepts throughout the book, facilitating easier learning
  • Sections on ‘common pitfalls’ and ‘programming guidelines’ direct students towards best practice

New to this edition:

  • More engineering applications help the reader learn Matlab in the context of solving technical problems
  • New and revised end of chapter problems
  • Stronger coverage of loops and vectorizing in a new chapter, chapter 5
  • Updated to reflect current features and functions of the current release of Matlab


Engineers learning to program and model in Matlab. Undergraduates in engineering and science taking a course that uses (or recommends) MATLAB

Table of Contents

  • Dedication



    PART 1. Introduction to Programming Using MATLAB

    Chapter 1. Introduction to MATLAB


    1.1 Getting into MATLAB

    1.2 The MATLAB Desktop Environment

    1.3 Variables and Assignment Statements

    1.4 Expressions

    1.5 Characters and Encoding

    1.6 Vectors and Matrices


    Chapter 2. Introduction to MATLAB Programming


    2.1 Algorithms

    2.2 Matlab scripts

    2.3 Input and Output

    2.4 Scripts with Input and Output

    2.5 Scripts to Produce and Customize Simple Plots

    2.6 Introduction to File Input/Output (Load and Save)

    2.7 User-Defined Functions That Return a Single Value


    Chapter 3. Selection Statements


    3.1 Relational Expressions

    3.2 The if Statement

    3.3 The If-else Statement

    3.4 Nested if-Else Statements

    3.5 The switch statement

    3.6 The menu function

    3.7 The “is” functions in MATLAB


    Chapter 4. Loop Statements


    4.1 The for loop

    4.2 Nested For Loops

    4.3 While Loops


    Chapter 5. Vectorized Code


    5.1 Loops with Vectors and Matrices

    5.2 Operations on Vectors and Matrices

    5.3 Vectors and Matrices as Function Arguments

    5.4 Logical Vectors

    5.5 Vectorizing Code

    5.6 Timing


    Chapter 6. MATLAB Programs


    6.1 More Types of User-Defined Functions

    6.2 MATLAB Program Organization

    6.3 Application: Menu-Driven Modular Program

    6.4 Variable Scope

    6.5 Debugging Techniques


    Chapter 7. String Manipulation


    7.1 Creating String Variables

    7.2 Operations on Strings

    7.3 The “is” functions for strings

    7.4 Converting Between String and Number Types


    Chapter 8. Data Structures


    8.1 Cell Arrays

    8.2 Structures


    Chapter 9. Advanced File Input and Output


    9.1 Lower-level File I/O Functions

    9.2 Writing and reading spreadsheet files

    9.3 Using MAT-files for Variables


    Chapter 10. Advanced Functions


    10.1 Anonymous Functions

    10.2 Uses of Function Handles

    10.3 Variable Numbers of Arguments

    10.4 Nested Functions

    10.5 Recursive Functions


    PART 2. Advanced Topics for Problem Solving with MATLAB

    Chapter 11. Advanced Plotting Techniques


    11.1 Plot Functions

    11.2 Animation

    11.3 Three-Dimensional Plots

    11.4 Customizing Plots

    11.5 Handle Graphics and Plot Properties

    11.6 Plot Applications


    Chapter 12. Matrix Representation of Linear Algebraic Equations


    12.1 Matrix Definitions

    12.2 Matrix Solutions to Systems of Linear Algebraic Equations


    Chapter 13. Basic Statistics, Sets, Sorting, and Indexing


    13.1 Statistical Functions

    13.2 Set Operations

    13.3 Sorting

    13.4 Index Vectors

    13.5 Searching


    Chapter 14. Sights and Sounds


    14.1 Sound Files

    14.2 Image Processing

    14.3 Introduction to Graphical User Interfaces


    Chapter 15. Advanced Mathematics


    15.1 Fitting Curves to Data

    15.2 Complex Numbers

    15.3 Symbolic Mathematics

    15.4 Calculus: Integration and Differentiation



Product details

  • No. of pages: 544
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Butterworth-Heinemann 2011
  • Published: June 30, 2011
  • Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123850829

About the Author

Stormy Attaway

Stormy Attaway
Stormy Attaway is on the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University. She has been the course coordinator for the Engineering Computation courses at Boston University for over thirty years and has taught a variety of programming courses using many different languages and software packages. She is a recipient of the Metcalf Cup and Prize, Boston University’s highest teaching award.

Affiliations and Expertise

Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Director, Curricular Assessment and Improvement,College of Engineering, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA

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