Third Edition of Programming Textbook

We have just published the third edition of the textbook on programming with MATLAB.   It is available for purchase at http://www.lulu.com/shop/autar-kaw-and-benjamin-rigsby-and-ismet-handzic-and-daniel-miller/introduction-to-programming-concepts-with-matlab-third-edition/paperback/product-24333322.html

The book is intended for an introductory course in programming in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields while using MATLAB as the programming language. MATLAB is a popular computational software package used in universities and industries alike.

This textbook differentiates itself from others in two specific ways.

      1. The textbook is suitable for the many engineering departments throughout the nation that no longer teach a 3-credit hour programming course. They weave programming and mathematical software packages such as MATLAB in courses such as Foundations of Engineering, Freshmen Design, Modeling of Systems, Engineering Analysis, Numerical Methods, etc. This book is highly suitable for such audiences. To achieve these goals and make the access far-reaching, we have been deliberate in keeping the lessons short in length so that instructors can easily choose the course content in a modular way.
      2. The textbook is a stand-alone resource for learning programming where the lectures complement the textbook rather than vice versa. This is because of the reason above where in-classroom time is truncated, and therefore students need to be more self-taught. For this reason, we have been meticulous when selecting and organizing the textbook content to include fundamental and application programming problems that prepare students well for other problems they will solve in academia and industry.

The book has nine modules which have been each broken down by lessons. There are 42 lessons in all and depending on the learning outcomes of the course, an instructor can choose to assign only necessary lessons. Modules 1-3 focus on MATLAB and programming basics like the MATLAB program interface, programming variables, different types of data, debugging, plotting, and applications to science and engineering problems. In Module 4, we show the use of MATLAB for basic mathematical procedures learned in the engineering courses including nonlinear equations, integration, differentiation, simultaneous linear equations, interpolation, regression, and ordinary differential equations. In Modules 5-8, the user is introduced to basic programming concepts of conditional statements, repetition (loops), and custom functions. In Module 9, program input/output is shown with writing to and reading from external files as well as navigating directories with MATLAB. Important appendices include a primer on matrix algebra, a collection of mini-projects, and a introduction to animating plots in MATLAB. Appendix A provides a primer on matrix algebra. Appendix B contains a set of mini-projects. Appendix C demonstrates how to make animated plots in MATLAB.

Each lesson contains screenshots of actual MATLAB programs that are used to help illustrate the concepts presented. More than 120 complete programs are shown throughout this book to demonstrate to the reader how to use programming concepts. The book is written in a USA-Today style question-answer format for a quick grasp of the concepts.

The purpose of this book is to provide the reader with a firm basic understanding of MATLAB syntax and fundamental programming concepts. Each lesson contains MATLAB programs that are used to help illustrate the concepts presented. By no means do the authors claim to present every MATLAB command, function, application, or programming concept in existence.

codecademy.com looks promising

codecademy.com is offering promising free online courses to non-CS programmers.  It is an interactive way of learning how to program and it also assesses your learning gains via badges.  Go and give it a try.  You can get a quick glimpse of what they are trying to do by watching a CNN news clip.

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This post is brought to you by Holistic Numerical Methods: Numerical Methods for the STEM undergraduate at http://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu, the textbook on Numerical Methods with Applications available from the lulu storefront, the textbook on Introduction to Programming Concepts Using MATLAB, and the YouTube video lectures available athttp://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu/videos.  Subscribe to the blog via areader or email to stay updated with this blog. Let the information follow you.

Audiovisual Lectures for Novice Programmers

The other day, a student asked me if I would recommend freely-available online digital audiovisual lectures  for those students who are learning programming for the first time.  I can point out three sources I have used myself and to say the least, I have been inspired.  Over the last two years, I have used their teaching techniques and examples in my own 1-credit hour EML3035 Programming Concepts course at the University of South Florida.  I do not have audiovisual lectures but I have several scripts to help you along if you use MATLAB.  Let me know what you think.

1. Harvard’s David Malan: Introduction to Computer Science   

2. MITs duo Eric Grimsom and John Guttag: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

3. Stanford’s Mehran Sahami Computer Science I: Programming Methodology

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This post is brought to you by Holistic Numerical Methods: Numerical Methods for the STEM undergraduate at http://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu, the textbook on Numerical Methods with Applications available from the lulu storefront, the textbook on Introduction to Programming Concepts Using MATLAB, and the YouTube video lectures available athttp://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu/videos.  Subscribe to the blog via areader or email to stay updated with this blog. Let the information follow you.