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Math Toolkit for Real-Time Programming 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1929629091
ISBN-10: 1929629095
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jack Crenshaw holds a Ph.D. in physics from Auburn University (specialties in math, electronics, and advanced dynamics). He wrote his first computer program in 1956 and his first microcomputer software a real-time, floating-point, Kalman filter-driven controller in 1976. He has been working with real-time software for embedded systems ever since, and thinks he might be beginning to get the hang of it. He is currently a senior principal design engineer for Alliant TechSystems, Inc., a contributing editor for Embedded Systems Programming magazine, and author of the popular 'Programmer's Toolbox' column. In his spare time, he likes to dabble in compiler theory, guidance and control theory, and help rehabilitate orphaned and injured wildlife.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 466 pages
  • Publisher: CRC Press; 1 edition (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929629095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929629091
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Baum on April 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Run, don't walk to get this book!

Remember that numerical analysis class you took, in which you came away really understanding nothing besides how to plug-and-chug? Those "black box" numerical integration routines with "magic" coefficients that came from who knows where? Did you ever get the relationship between z transforms and "backward differences?"

This book explains all this and more in a clear, readable, and dare I say, even entertaining presentation (I read it in one sitting cover-to-cover, which is typically impossible for a technical book.)

Over the years, I've purchased quite a few technical reference books. Most seem to be weighty self-congratulatory monuments to the authors' personal ability to present fantastically-terse-yet-look-how-rigorous mathematical proofs. Maybe 1 in 100 is actually written in a down-to-earth, accessible way without pages of dense jargon and overly complicated formulations.

"Math Toolkit for Real-time Programming" is simply the most well-written numerical programming book I've ever come across, and perhaps one of the best technical books on any subject, period. I wish all books were this readable.

Do yourself a favor and get this book ASAP.

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2008 Update: As I go back and read this review 6 years later, it sounds a bit over the top, but I _still_ really like this book. It's rare to find a technical book that can communicate the "common sense" behind mathematical concepts and algorithms without requiring the reader to have a Math PhD. Does the book address every possible topic in numerical computing? No, it is not a comprehensive reference, but the topics it DOES cover are very well explained indeed.
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Crenshaw is a really smart guy. He explains the algorithms, and *how* he figured them out and optimized them.

The book reads like and exploration. It almost seems like the author isn't exactly sure where he'll end up -- he's learning with you as you go along. I don't think that's the case, but it makes the reading fun (considering the topic).
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I have yet to find a book that explains "complex" math algorithms well and give clear coding examples that follow. This book is no exception. I suppose after reading some of the other reviews, I had high expectations for this book, but it failed to deliver.

My number one complaint about the book is that there are very little or no comments in the code. There are pages of equations and derivations of the equations followed by code of a function. I didn't understand how the code related to the equations. It would have been a tremendous help to put a one line comment next to each section or line of the code referring to an equation number. Many equations deal with variables like x, y, or a. It doesn't help me much when a variable inside of code is called "x". I have no idea of its use or where it came from. It would have been even better if after each section of the math, the author put the line of code it referred to, and after the algortihm was complete, write the whole function down.

Another minor issue I had with the book was that it was written in the first person and the author tried to make humorous remarks throughout. I understand that he was trying to make it fun and while some people may appreciate it, I found it annoying.

The author does not seem to follow his own advice. The book is clearly not written for any one programming language. Most of the code is written in C, but he has references to pascal, c++, and says that fortran is basically a dead language but refers to fortran throughout the book. He makes it a point to state that he has good coding style and has a whole chapter on constants. He #defines One as 1.0 to avoid wasting run time cycles from converting an int to a double.
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Format: Paperback
Nice reference for embedded system programmers If you have the last 10 years of Embedded Systems Programming magazines, then you will already have 80% of the basics covered in this book, but the book is a great reference to read and have handy. Material is expanded and well written, so I'd recommend it for any one working with embedded control systems.
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The author Jack Crenshaw on his web site jackcrenshaw says this is a pirated, rip off copy. Please support the author by skipping this rip off, get the real edition. The real edition has a dark purple graphic on the cover, and shows the publisher as CMP Books. I do have the real edition, and I learned a lot from it, well worth seeking out from the publisher.
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If like me you need to take control over the math library that comes with your compiler then this book is for you. Whether you need more speed, more reliability with a total understanding of what's going on inside your code this book is for you. It is definitely on my top-five for embedded engineering. This is pretty much the stuff they don't teach in university but makes a trememdous performance difference at the project level. Do yourself a favor and get this book, even if it's just for reference... you will need it soon!
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