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Engineering Problem Solving with C (3rd Edition)

Engineering Problem Solving with C (3rd Edition)

Engineering Problem Solving with C (3rd Edition)
By Delores M. Etter

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Book Description

In this revision of a popular book, the best-selling author provides a new theme for the real-world engineering and scientific examples and problems used throughout the book. Solutions to the problems are developed using the language C and the author's signature five-step problem solving process. Centered around a theme of oceans and their role in the complex interactions of environment, the book enables readers to solve real-world and scientific problems. Four types of exercises are presented to develop problem-solving skills - Practice! problems, Modify! problems, Short-Answer problems, and Programming problems. Coverage of essential features that are needed to write reusable C code are included such as C structures and pointers. The book also provides an introduction to object-oriented programming and C++. For engineers and scientists who want to use ANSI C to solve practical engineering and scientific problems.

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #1165759 in Books
  • Published on: 2004-07-17
  • Ingredients: Example Ingredients
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.14" h x .63" w x 7.47" l, 1.58 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 480 pages

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap
Preface Engineers use computers to solve a variety of problems ranging from the evaluation of a simple function to solving a system of nonlinear equations. C has become the language of choice of many engineers and scientists not only because it has powerful commands and data structures, but also because it can easily be used for system-level operations. Since C is the language that a new engineer is most likely to encounter in a job, it is a good choice for an introduction to computing for engineers. Therefore, this text was written to introduce engineering problem solving with the following objectives:to develop a consistent methodology for solving engineering problems, to present the fundamental capabilities of C, the language of choice of many practicing engineers and scientists, and to illustrate the problem solving process with C through a variety of engineering examples and applications. To accomplish these objectives, Chapter 1 presents a five-step process that is used consistently in the rest of the text for solving engineering problems. Chapters 2-7 present the fundamental capabilities of C for solving engineering problems. Chapter 8 is a brief introduction to Object-Oriented Programming using C++. Object-oriented programming is gaining popularity in many fields of engineering and science and is likely to be seen in the workplace. Chapter 8 is intended to familiarize readers with some of the basic object-oriented features of C++. Throughout all these chapters, we present a large number of examples from many different engineering and science disciplines. The solutions to these examples are developed using the five-step process and ANSI C (and ANSI C++ in Chapter 8), the standards developed by the American National Standards Institute. CHANGES TO THE SECOND EDITION This second edition is in response to the insightful comments of our readers and reviewers. It includes a reorganization of some topics and the addition of new topics. The second edition moves the discussion of character data up to Chapter 2 and moves the discussion of character strings up to Chapter 5. Two new chapters have been added to the text; a chapter on structures and a chapter introducing the C++ programming language. We have added a new section of problems, titled Exam Practice! to the end of each chapter and have added new end-of-chapter exercises to many of the chapters. New engineering application problems, including simulation, image processing, and complex numbers, have been added to the text, as well as additional numerical techniques, including the Newton-Raphson method and numerical integration using the Trapezoid Rule. New algorithms include the sequential search and the binary search. Our objectives and our approach to engineering problem solving remain the same. PREREQUISITES No prior experience with the computer is assumed. The mathematical prerequisites are college algebra and trigonometry. Of course, the initial material can be covered much faster if the student has used other computer languages or software tools. COURSE STRUCTURE The material in these chapters was selected to provide the basis for a one-term course in engineering computing. These chapters contain the essential topics of mathematical computations, character data, control structures, functions, arrays, pointers, and structures. Students with background in another computer language should be able to complete this material in less than a semester. A minimal course that provides only an introduction to C can be designed using the nonoptional sections of the text. (Optional sections are indicated in the Contents.) Three ways to use the text, along with the recommended chapter sections, areIntroduction to C Many freshman introductory courses introduce the student to several computer tools in addition to an introduction to a language. For these courses, we recommend covering the nonoptional sections of Chapters 1-5. This material introduces students to the fundamental capabilities of C, and they will be able to write substantial programs using mathematical computations, character data, control structures, functions, and arrays. Problem Solving with C In a semester course devoted specifically to teaching students to master the C language, we recommend covering all nonoptional sections of Chapters 1-7. This material covers all the fundamental concepts of the C language, including mathematical computations, character data, control structures, functions, arrays, pointers, and structures. Problem Solving with C and Numerical Techniques Upper-level students or students who are already familiar with other high-level languages will be able to cover the material in this text very quickly. In addition, they will be able to apply the numerical technique material to their other courses. Therefore, we recommend that these students cover all sections of Chapters 1-7, including the optional material. Many students may be interested in reading about some of the additional object-oriented features found in C++. We recommend that students cover all nonoptional sections of Chapters 1-7 before reading Chapter 8. PROBLEM-SOLVING METHODOLOGY The emphasis on engineering and scientific problem solving is an integral part of the text. Chapter 1 introduces a five-step process for solving engineering problems using the computer: 1. State the problem clearly. 2. Describe the input and output information. 3. Work a simple example by hand. 4. Develop an algorithm and convert it to a computer program. 5. Test the solution with a variety of data. To reinforce the development of problem-solving skills, each of these five steps is clearly identified each time that a complete engineering problem is solved. In addition, top-down design and stepwise refinement are presented with the use of decomposition outlines, pseudocode, and flowcharts. ENGINEERING AND SCIENTIFIC APPLICATIONS Throughout the text, emphasis is placed on incorporating real-world engineering and scientific examples and problems. This emphasis is centered around a theme of grand challenges, which include the following:prediction of weather, climate, and global change computerized speech understanding mapping of the human genome improvements in vehicle performance enhanced oil and gas recovery simulation Each chapter begins with a photograph and a discussion of some aspect of one of these grand challenges that provides a glimpse of some of the exciting and interesting areas in which engineers might work. Later in the chapter, we solve a problem that not only relates to the introductory problem, but also has applications in other problem solutions. The grand challenges are also referenced in many of the other examples and problems. ANSI C The statements presented and all programs developed use the C standards developed by the American National Standards Institute. By using ANSI C, students learn to write portable code that can be transferred from one computer platform to another. Many of the capabilities are discussed in the text, and additional ones are discussed in Appendix A. SOFTWARE ENGINEERING CONCEPTS Engineers and scientists are expected to develop and implement user-friendly and reusable computer solutions. Learning software engineering techniques is therefore crucial to successfully developing these computer solutions. Readability and documentation are stressed in the development of programs. Additional topics that relate to software engineering issues are discussed throughout the text and include issues such as software life cycle, portability, maintenance, modularity, recursion, abstraction, reusability, structured programming, validation, and verification. FOUR TYPES OF PROBLEMS Learning any new skill requires practice at a number of different levels of difficulty. We have developed four types of exercises that are used throughout the text to develop problem-solving skills. The first set of exercises is Practice! problems. These are short-answer questions that relate to the section of material just presented. Most sections are immediately followed by a set of Practice! problems so that students can determine if they are ready to continue to the next section. Complete solutions to all the Practice! problems are included at the end of the text. The Modify! problems are designed to provide hands-on experiences with the programs developed in the Problem Solving Applied sections. In these sections, we develop a complete C program using the five-step process. The Modify! problems ask students to run the program with different sets of data to test their understanding of how the program works and of the relationships among the engineering variables. These exercises also ask the students to make simple modifications to the program and then run the program to test their changes. Selected solutions to some of the Modify! problems are included at the end of the text. Each chapter ends with a set of Exam Practice! problems and a set of end-of-chapter problems. The Exam Practice! problems are short-answer questions that relate to the material covered in the chapter. These problems help students determine how well they understand the features of C presented in the chapter. The end-of-chapter problems are new problems that relate to a variety of engineering applications, and the level of difficulty ranges from very straightforward to longer project assignments. Each problem requires that the student develop a complete C program or function. Engineering data sets are included for many of the problems to use in testing. Selected solutions to some of the Exam Practice! and end-of-chapter problems are included at the end of the text. STUDY AND PROGRAMMING AIDS Margin notes are used to help the reader not only identify the important concepts, but also to easily locate specific topics. In addition, margin notes are used to identify programming style guidelines and debugging information. Style guidelines show students how to write C programs that incorporate good software discipline; debugging sections help students recognize common errors so that they can avoid them. The programming style notes are indicated with the margin note ,I>Style, and the debugging notes are indicated with a bug icon. Each Chapter Summary contains a summary of the style notes and debugging notes, plus a list of the Key Terms from the chapter and a C Statement Summary of the new statements to make the book easier to use as a reference. The combined list of these key terms, along with their definitions, is included in a Glossary at the end of the text. OPTIONAL NUMERICAL TECHNIQUES Numerical techniques that are commonly used in solving engineering problems are also discussed in optional sections in the chapters, and include interpolation, linear modeling (regression), root finding, numerical integration, and the solution to simultaneous equations. The concept of a matrix is also introduced and then illustrated using a number of examples. All of these topics are presented assuming only a trigonometry and college algebra background. MATLAB AND VISUALIZATION The visualization of the information related to a problem and its solution is a critical component in understanding and developing the intuition necessary to be a creative engineer. Therefore, we have included a number of plots of data throughout the text to illustrate the relationships of the information needed to solve specific problems. All the plots were generated using MATLAB, a powerful environment for numerical computations, data analysis, and visualization. We have also included an appendix that shows how to generate a simple plot from data that have been stored in an ASCII data file; this ASCII file could be generated with a word processor or it could be generated by a C program. If a course is planned that will include material on both C and MATLAB, a special package that includes this text and Engineering Problem Solving with MATLAB is available from Prentice Hall. APPENDICES To further enhance reference use, the appendices include a number of important topics. Appendix A contains a discussion of the components in the ANSI C Standard Library. Appendix B presents the ASCII character codes. Appendix C shows how to use MATLAB to plot data from ASCII files; this allows students to generate ASCII files with their C programs and to then plot the values using MATLAB. Finally, Appendix D contains a list of references used throughout the text. INSTRUCTOR'S RESOURCE CD An Instructor's Resource CD is available, which contains complete solutions to all the Modify! problems and end-of-chapter problems, as well as data files to use with application problems. A complete set of Power Point slides is included to assist the instructor in preparing lecture material. NONTECHNICAL SKILLS The engineer of the 21st century needs many skills and capabilities in addition to the technical ones learned in an engineering program. In Chapter 1 we present a brief discussion on some of these nontechnical skills that are so important to engineers. Specifically, we discuss developing both oral and written communications skills, understanding the design/process/manufacture path that takes an idea and leads to a product, working in interdisciplinary teams, understanding the world and its marketplace, the importance of synthesis as well as analysis, and the importance of ethics and other societal concerns in engineering solutions. While this text is devoted primarily to teaching problem solving skills and the C language, we have attempted to tie these other nontechnical topics into many of the problems and discussions in the text.

From the Back Cover

  • To develop a consistent methodology for solving engineering problems
  • .
  • To present the fundamental capabilities of C, the language of choice of many practicing engineers and scientists
  • .
  • To illustrate the problem solving process with C through a variety of engineering examples and applications
  • .
  • Introduces the topics of character data and the discussion of C strings early
  • .
  • Adds chapters on: structures and C++ Programming language
  • .
  • Includes a new section of problems for each chapter
  • .
  • Provides new engineering application problems: Simulation, Image Processing, and Complex Number
  • .
  • Offers an Instructor's Resource CD-ROM to supplement text
  • .
  • Companion Website available at

About the Author
DR. DELORES M. ETTER, a leading engineering and computer science educator, was formerly a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Colorado, a faculty member at the University of New Mexico and a visiting Professor at Stanford University. She was elected a Fellow of the Instituted of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for her contribution to education and for her technical leadership in digital signal processing. In addition to writing best-selling textbooks for engineering computing, Dr. Etter has also published research in the area of adaptive digital signal processing. She is currently working as a consultant for the federal Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. JEANINE A. INGBER is currently a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico. She also works as a consultant for Sandia National Labs. She has a master's degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to her teaching at the University of New Mexico, Jeanine was a faculty member at Iowa State University.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
2Good text, but the typos in problem sets and examples make it more frustrating than helpful.
By smiles
This book is required for my C++ class. Although it covers pertinent topics, and the text describes how to solve problems well, the examples are poorly written. They contain many errors, and don't explain why they are using certain functions. Not only does someone who is just learning C++ have to figure out where the errors are, but they have to figure out why they are using a certain code.
Not only do the examples have errors, but the problem sets have all sorts of typos. A general example: it will tell the student to alter the program they wrote for problem x on page y, and said problem doesn't exist. This results in searching the text for the proper problem. This causes errors in problems assigned by my professor, studying, and trying to find an example in class.
My husband holds a degree in computer science, and the book even annoys him.
At least buying it through Amazon saved me a lot of money compared to my school's bookstore, but still, I wish I didn't have to buy this for class. I have a library of more helpful books, and usually resort to them, or asking "the Internet" questions to clarify the text.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
4Clear presentation - an excellent textbook
By Lauren Elizabeth
The layout of this text is very helpful for keeping the material straight. It is written with clarity. The real-world sample problems are interesting. I have just one concern, which kept me from giving it 5 stars: there are errors in some of the answers to practice problems. I don't see why these would not have all been carefully checked. (For reference, I have the international edition.) Nonetheless, a great text!

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
1Avoid, disorganized pseudointellectual obfuscation layer.
By Mr. Lobotomy
Avoid. Rent, do not buy, if you need it for class.

Introductory class text for freshman programming. Luckily, I was able to spend another $50 and get four used books that are doing the job of getting me through class. Buy the Kernigan and Ritchie C text, also bought James Coplien's C++ which are well organized and readable.

Found one helpful insight in the book where Etter says a function call may be changed from pass by value to pass by reference by adding the & operator. That works perfectly.

Pseudointellectual. Thank God for Amazon and a place to register my complaint. She has a brute force sort with variables like (int j=k+1; j
I'm typing in her OOP class example and once I understand what is supposed to be happening, I'm getting the feeling I will want to rewrite this entirely. No understanding of, or structure of style idioms is conveyed. I would like a book recommendation that will do this for me.

She uses an example problem from systems analysis which is a 3rd year EE course, damped responses. A formula is provided as a black box to just type in. Having had systems analysis, I have no idea what the student was supposed to get out of the way it was presented. This is an introductory text, though system response damping could have been introduced in an insightful way instead of as a black box math formula. I'm guessing the first year student would see this and feel like they were rowed out to the deep water and tossed overboard. That's how I felt looking at it and I took a semester class in that

Book covers introductory material by dispersing it in different chapters. Struct is not in the index. Pointers could have been chpt 2 or 3 and not 9. I'm looking for where she says a pointer is a data type that hold a memory address but i cannot find it.

If the author reads this, I want a refund of my $43. rental fee.

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