A Brief Introduction to Engineering Computation with MATLAB

June 27, 2016 | Updated: July 29, 2021
Author: Serhat Beyenir, British Columbia Institute of Technology

A Brief Introduction to Engineering Computation with MATLAB is specifically designed for students with no programming experience. However, students are expected to be proficient in First Year Mathematics and Sciences and access to good reference books are highly recommended. Students are assumed to have a working knowledge of the Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows operating systems. The strategic goal of the course and book is to provide learners with an appreciation for the role computation plays in solving engineering problems. MATLAB specific skills that students are expected to be proficient at are: write scripts to solve engineering problems including interpolation, numerical integration and regression analysis, plot graphs to visualize, analyze and present numerical data, and publish reports.

Subject Areas
Engineering, Engineering - General

Original source
cnx.org

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A Brief Introduction to Engineering Computation with MATLAB by Serhat Beyenir, British Columbia Institute of Technology is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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Reviews (1) Avg: 4.1 / 5

Pooya Taheri

Institution:Vancouver Community CollegeTitle/Position: Sessional InstructorCreative Commons License

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

I feel that the textbook is very well-written and to-the-point, however very introductory. In my opinion, this book does not provide a comprehensive overview compared to the syllabus for the first-year engineering MATLAB courses at SFU, FIC, VCC, ...
In specific, the book misses detailed sections on differentiation and system of linear equations and basic linear algebra. It also requires inclusion of other numerical integration methods, more analysis on curve fitting and better organization of the chapters on interpolation and regression.
In terms of introduction to MATLAB, file I/O is necessary to be added for txt, xls, and cpp files.
Introduction to SIMULINK needs to be added. Adding cpp (MEX) files can be covered.
Programming section does not go in depth and does not provide many examples. It also does not cover the object oriented properties of MATLAB.
Plotting section could include more useful properties and have more 2d and 3d examples with different types of plots (bar, pi, stem, ...) based on the problem
More examples, exercises, (and maybe links to resources from Matworks) can be added.
Visual programming using apps or GUIs can be introduced as a fun application.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 2 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

I found the contents mostly accurate.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

As mentioned earlier, the book is very introductory. I teach a 15-week course at VCC. I finished this book within 9 weeks with tons of extra material. And I had to use other material as this book did not provide comprehensive and relevant material.

Some more advanced features, such as different toolboxes and blocksets, SIMULINK, file I/O, curve fitting, apps, microcontroller-communication, etc. can be introduced in the book.
The book is not information dense enough. Pictures are unnecessarily big and sometimes paper is mismanaged in terms of formatting.

More detailed introduction about MATLAB, changes, parts, versions, etc. needs to be provided.
When talking about numerical methods, such as curve fitting, lin algebra, calc, etc., a more analytical approach can be used to compare the efficiency (time and memory) and error of each method.

Relevance Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

Textbook is well written.

More information cab be added:
lists of useful functions at the end of each chapter
lists of equations
a glossary
a nomenclature

Textbook could introduce more open-source MATLAB forums.

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

Chapters related to curve fitting can be grouped together.
Differentiation and Linear Algebra were missed in the book.
The last chapter was good but not very necessary. There were better choices.

Consistency Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

The text is mostly easy to read.
Visual representation was relatively simple and not very efficient. I think page formatting and layout can be modified to more efficiently use the space while separating different subsections.

Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

Some background theory and analytical analysis of methods can be added.
Some technical concepts were not discussed. (look at syllabus for ENSC180 or SCIE1180 at SFU and VCC)
I suggest adding a table at the end of each chapter for commands.
More examples and exercises seemed needed.

Organization Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

Did not see any problem. I was not a big fan of the Einstein image at each chapter as it was not that relevant to each chapter and took too much space.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

Seemed relatively well writen.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

I did not notice any problems.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

I recommend it as a suggested book but it is not complete. Its depth is low. It cannot be a textbook for university-level courses as its content can be covered shorter than a semester.