Matlab - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780750687621, 9780080943251


1st Edition

A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving

Authors: Stormy Attaway
eBook ISBN: 9780080943251
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 2nd February 2009
Page Count: 480
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MATLAB: A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving discusses the basic programming concepts and skills needed for problem solving using MATLAB software. It is the only book that gives a full introduction to programming in MATLAB combined with an explanation of MATLAB’s powerful functions. The book differs from other texts in that it teaches programming concepts and the use of the built-in functions in MATLAB simultaneously. It 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. The systematic, step-by-step approach, building on concepts throughout the book, facilitates easier learning.

Starting with basic programming concepts, such as variables, assignments, input/output, selection, and loop statements, problems are introduced and solved throughout the book. The book is organized into two parts. Part I covers the programming constructs and demonstrates programming versus efficient use of built-in functions to solve problems. Part II describes the applications, including plotting, image processing, and mathematics, needed in basic problem solving. The chapters feature sections called "Quick Question!" as well as practice problems designed to test knowledge about the material covered. Problems are solved using both "The Programming Concept" and "The Efficient Method," which facilitates understanding the efficient ways of using MATLAB, and also the programming concepts used in these efficient functions and operators. There are also sections on ‘common pitfalls’ and ‘programming guidelines’ that direct students towards best practice.

This book is ideal for engineers learning to program and model in MATLAB, as well as undergraduates in engineering and science taking a course on 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


Engineers learning to program and model in Matlab. Undergraduates in engineering and science taking a course on MATLAB.

Table of Contents


Part I Programming and Problem Solving Using MATLAB

Chapter 1 Introduction to MATLAB

1.1 Getting into MATLAB

1.2 Variables and Assignment Statements

1.3 Expressions

1.4 Characters and Encoding

1.5 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 Looping

4.1 The for Loop

4.2 Nested for Loops

4.3 Vectorizing

4.4 While Loops

Chapter 5 MATLAB Programs

5.1 More Types of User-Defined Functions

5.2 Matlab Program Organization

5.3 Application: Menu-Driven Modular Program

5.4 Variable Scope

5.5 Debugging Techniques

Chapter 6 String Manipulation

6.1 Creating String Variables

6.2 Operations on Strings

6.3 The is Function for Strings

6.4 Converting between String and Number Types

Chapter 7 Data Structures: Cell Arrays and Structures

7.1 Cell Arrays

7.2 Structures

Chapter 8 Advanced File Input and Output

8.1 Lower Level File I/O Functions

8.2 Writing and Reading Spreadsheet Files

8.3 Using MAT-Files for Variables

Chapter 9 Advanced Functions

9.1 Anonymous Functions

9.2 Uses of Function Handles

9.3 Variable Numbers of Arguments

9.4 Nested Functions

9.5 Recursive Functions

Part II Applications

Chapter 10 MATLAB Plots

10.1 Plot Functions

10.2 Animation

10.3 Three-Dimensional Plots

10.4 Customizing Plots

10.5 Graphics Properties

10.6 Plot Applications

Chapter 11 Solving Systems of Linear Algebraic Equations

11.1 Matrix Definitions

11.2 Matrix Solutions to Systems of Linear Algebraic Equations

11.3 Symbolic Mathematics

Chapter 12 Basic Statistics, Searching, and Sorting

12.1 Statistical Functions

12.2 Set Operations

12.3 Sorting

12.4 Indexing

12.5 Searching

Chapter 13 Sights and Sounds

13.1 Sound Files

13.2 Introduction to Handle Graphics

13.3 Image Processing

13.4 Introduction to Graphical User Interfaces

Chapter 14 Advanced Mathematics

14.1 Fitting Curves to Data

14.2 Complex Numbers

14.3 Calculus: Integration and Differentiation



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About the Author

Stormy Attaway

Stormy Attaway

Stormy Attaway is Assistant Professor and Faculty Coordinator for Special Programs within the Mechanical Engineering Department at Boston University. She also currently serves as Director of Curricular Assessment and Improvement for the College of Engineering. In this capacity, she coordinates the curricular assessment and improvement programs within the College, in order to better the academic experience of the undergraduates. She has been the course coordinator for the Engineering Computation courses at Boston University for over twenty years, and has taught a variety of programming courses using many different languages and software packages.

Affiliations and Expertise

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