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Matlab: A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving 3rd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1300090009
ISBN-10: 0124058760
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann; 3rd edition (July 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0124058760
  • ISBN-13: 978-0124058767
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Let's Compare Options Preptorial TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding introduction to Matlab, and the examples work equally well with the GNU free version. Hats off to Amazon and the publisher for delivering this fine and current text at under $40 US new including web resources.

There are numerous, out of date, but well written "specialty" Matlab books-- Matlab for scientists, Matlab for Chemists, Matlab for Physicists, Matlab for Engineers, Matlab for Neurologists... etc. These almost all go for between $80 and $200+ US! This book is hands down FAR BETTER as both an intro and a reference. You HAVE to run the examples as the solutions are not always given, but Matlab itself will let you know how you did if you got the code right.

For a very recent book, the code runs quite well, I'd put it at about 95%+. Many books like this, when recently published, are rushed to press and the code is, well, frankly, garbage! The neat thing is that since this is a third edition, the code has been vetted many times and is far more bulletproof than the normal up to date, current version text.

How does it compare to the Matlab documentation? No contest! The official documentation gives volumes (libraries) on functions, etc. but very few good, basic examples of best practices. This author really knows her stuff, and will save you a ton on bugs, even if you just get this as a reference. Granted, the focus of the examples is Engineering, but I also work in medical and robotics EE and DSLs, and the examples are easily transportable to any other area. It is pretty clear that although the author publishes in advanced Engineering, she also teaches undergrads, so the book is kept intelligible without the usual "show off" style that makes many texts tough to learn from.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book to learn Matlab. I only wish I had attended a school that taught a Matlab programming course using this book. There are basically three ways to learn Matlab. 1. Stumble around in the massive but useful help screens in Matlab. 2. Attend a college or other training class that often costs hundreds or thousands of dollars to attend. Then, there's the less traveled method: buy this book and teach yourself. That's the method I'm currently using, and it's improved my knowledge of Matlab tremendously. I think this book is a worthwhile update to the 2nd edition, too. I considered purchasing the 2nd edition and even read some the actual book in a bookstore, imagine that. However, upon consideration of the 3rd edition, I think the 3rd edition takes the contents of the 2nd edition and organizes it better so that more relevant topics are kept together. It also has a newly added appendix that shows almost, if not all, the built-in functions in Matlab. That's a handy thing to have when programming, because it allows you to skim the functions you want and use them appropriately due to a nice, short description that's included with each function. Also, the new edition covers vectors and matrices with matrix multiplication much earlier, now in chapter 2. So, it affords a better context to later material. Overall, if you're looking for a great basic reference and an actual teaching guide to using Matlab, go for this book. It will not disappoint. It's much more than a rehash of the massive Matlab help screen with a few simple exercises thrown in the back of each chapter, like so many books of this type are. This is an actual programming guide with tips, hints, and corrections of common errors beginning programmers often make, with end of chapter problems that cover concepts discussed in the chapters to teach the reader Matlab by doing! I strongly recommend this outstanding Matlab programming book, and it's so cheap, too.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the case of this product, there is truth in advertising. The book itself assumes no knowledge of MATLAB with almost no math beyond some basic high school math. The book was developed for incoming freshman at Boston University by a longtime educational coordinator.

The author put considerable work into this book, and for someone who wants to learn MATLAB on their own, this is a pretty good choice. The examples are simple and easy to follow with the content suitable even for aggressive high school students. Matlab no longer needs any sort of hyping, it is used in many disciplines ranging from engineering to economics to education, although engineers are the true power users.

As an experienced user, I most likely to use this book as a reference when I simply forget one of the many Matlab constructs. As a reference, the material is quite extensive and diverse but still does not get too aggressive in any of the content.

In a nutshell, the book will
1. Get you familiar with the MATLAB command set
2. Get you familiar with the MATLAB user interface
3. Teach you how to import data, manipulate the data based on the baseline MATLAB instruction set, and generate decent but often clunky looking plots (many people that I know will often port the data out to a better plotting package such as excel)
4. Develop a collection of commands (call .m files) that perform an extended sequence of commands and can be run from session to session

The MATLAB program is not included in the book and can be quite costly, so if you don't have a copy of MATLAB, you might want to check out its affordability first. Also, there is no companion disk with the book meaning that you have to do all the typing of the examples in the book.
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