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Essentials of MATLAB® Programming 3rd Edition

Stephen J. Chapman

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Introduce the MATLAB® language to your students and show how to use it to solve typical problems with ESSENTIALS OF MATLAB® PROGRAMMING, 3rd Edition. Author Stephen Chapman emphasizes problem-solving skills throughout this edition as he presents MATLAB as a technical programming language. He clearly shows students how to write clean, efficient, and well-documented programs, while simultaneously introducing them to many of the practical functions of MATLAB. Ideal for an introduction to programming and problem-solving course for freshman engineering students, the third edition also includes material addressing more advanced topics of additional data types and plot types, cell arrays, structures, and MATLAB handle graphics.

Stephen J. Chapman,

Stephen J. Chapman received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University (1975), an MSE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida (1979), and pursued further graduate studies at Rice University. From 1975 to 1980, he served as an officer in the U. S. Navy, assigned to teach Electrical Engineering at the U. S. Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida. From 1980 to 1982, he was affiliated with the University of Houston, where he ran the power systems program in the College of Technology. From 1982 to 1988 and from 1991 to 1995, he served as a Member of the Technical Staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, both at the main facility in Lexington, Massachusetts, and at the field site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. While there, he did research in radar signal processing systems. He ultimately became the leader of four large operational range instrumentation radars at the Kwajalein field site (TRADEX, ALTAIR, ALCOR, and MMW). From 1988 to 1991, Chapman served as a research engineer at Shell Development Company in Houston, Texas, where he did seismic signal processing research. He was also affiliated with the University of Houston, where he continued to teach on a part-time basis. Mr. Chapman is currently Manager of Systems Modeling and Operational Analysis for BAE Systems Australia, in Melbourne, Australia. He is the technical leader of a team that has developed a model of how naval ships defend themselves. This model contains more than 400,000 lines of MATLAB code written over more than a decade. Mr. Chapman is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (and several of its component societies). He is also a member of the Institution of Engineers (Australia).

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  • MATERIAL EMPHASIZES METHODS FOR EFFICIENTLY LOCATING DESIRED FUNCTIONS WITHIN MATLAB. In addition to teaching key features of MATLAB, this brief text places important emphasis on teaching students where to find the functions that they need within the MATLAB platform.
  • GOOD PROGRAMMING PRACTICES ARE EMPHASIZED THROUGHOUT. The author carefully reinforces strong programming skills, such as top-down design. He emphasizes the importance of first clearly defining the problem to be solved as well as required inputs and outputs before starting any project.
  • STUDENTS USE FUNCTIONS TO DECOMPOSE TASKS INTO SMALLER SUBTASKS. Clear presentations guide students through data hiding, unit testing, and how to avoid common mistakes. The author has carefully addressed the MATLAB tools that make programming easier, including the Editor/Debugger, Workspace Browser, and Help Browser.
  • “GOOD PROGRAMMING” BOXES HIGHLIGHT STRONG PROGRAMMING PRACTICES. This special learning feature draws additional attention to programming skills as they are introduced.
  • “PROGRAMMING PITFALL” BOXES EMPHASIZE COMMON ERRORS. These helpful features address typical mistakes and demonstrate how students can avoid them as they work and complete projects.
  • ADVANCED COVERAGE ADDRESSES DATA STRUCTURES AND NEW HANDLE GRAPHICS. Chapter 9 explains data structures through cell arrays and structure arrays. Through the new handle graphics features students learn to control the appearance of plots and graphs.
  • PROVEN LEARNING FEATURES AID IN STUDENT COMPREHENSION. To ensure student comprehension and offer tools for study and review, the book include quizzes as well as end-of-chapter summaries and questions with provided answers for self-testing.
  • WEBSITE CONVENIENTLY OFFERS THE SOURCE CODE FOR ALL EXAMPLES. The book’s companion website highlights the source code used in all of the illustrations within the book and highlights instructor’s source code for all solutions.
  • BRIEF VERSION HIGHLIGHTS THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF USING MATLAB. This concise, streamlined text emphasizes the MATLAB skills students are most likely to use on a daily basis, while still emphasizing MATLAB’s use as a programming language.
  • PRESENTATION TEACHES THE PROPER USE OF MATLAB’S BUILT IN TOOLS. Students leave your course equipped to complete more efficient programming and debugging.

Essentials of MATLAB® Programming


The Advantages of MATLAB. Disadvantages of MATLAB. The MATLAB Environment. Using MATLAB as a Calculator. Summary. Exercises.
Variables and Arrays. Creating and Initializing Variables in MATLAB. Multidimensional Arrays. Subarrays. Special Values. Displaying Output Data. Data Files.
Scalar and Array Operations. Hierarchy of Operations. Built-in MATLAB Functions. Introduction to Plotting. Examples. Debugging MATLAB Programs. Summary. Exercises.
Additional Plotting Features for Two-Dimensional Plots. Polar Plots. Annotating and Saving Plots. Additional Types of Two-Dimensional Plots. Using the plot function with Two-Dimensional Arrays. Summary. Exercises.
Introduction to Top-Down Design Techniques. Use of Pseudocode. The Logical Data Type. Branches. More on Debugging MATLAB Programs. Summary. Exercises.
The while Loop. The for Loop Logical Arrays and Vectorization. The MATLAB Profiler. Additional Examples. The textread Function. Summary. Exercises.
Introduction to MATLAB Functions. Variable Passing in MATLAB: The Pass-By-Value Scheme. Optional Arguments. Sharing Data Using Global Memory. Preserving Data Between Calls to a Function. Built-in MATLAB Functions: Sorting Functions. Built-in MATLAB Functions: Random Number Functions. Summary. Exercises.
Function Functions. Local Functions, Private Functions, and Nested Functions. Function Handles. Anonymous Functions. Recursive Functions. Plotting Functions. Histograms. Summary. Exercises.
Complex Data. Strings and String Functions. Multidimensional Arrays. Three-Dimensional Plots. Summary. Exercises.
Cell Arrays. Structure Arrays. Handle Graphics. Position and Units. Printer Positions. Default and Factory Properties. Graphics Object Properties. Summary. Exercises.
Appendix A: UTF-8 Character Set.
Appendix B: MATLAB Input / Output Functions.
Appendix C: Answers to Quizzes.

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Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Instructor's Solutions Manual

ISBN: 9781305970694
This convenient Solutions Manual provides time-saving code and graphic solutions for all exercises.

Companion Website

ISBN: 9781305970700
Find everything you need for your course in one place. This collection of book-specific lecture and class tools is available online via and provides the Instructor’s Solutions Manual, Instructor MATLAB code files, and Lecture Note PowerPoint® Slides in the password-protected section of the site.