This HTML version of the book is provided as a convenience, but some math equations are not translated correctly. The PDF version is more reliable.
Chapter 0 Preface
Most books that use MATLAB are aimed at readers who know how to program. This book is for people who have never programmed before.
As a result, the order of presentation is unusual. The book starts with scalar values and works up to vectors and matrices very gradually. This approach is good for beginning programmers, because it is hard to understand composite objects until you understand basic programming semantics. But there are problems:
The book puts a lot of emphasis on functions, in part because they are an important mechanism for controlling program complexity, and also because they are useful for working with MATLAB tools like fzero and ode45.
I assume that readers know calculus, differential equations, and physics, but not linear algebra. I explain the math as I go along, but the descriptions might not be enough for someone who hasn’t seen the material before.
There are small exercises within each chapter, and a few larger exercises at the end of some chapters.
If you have suggestions and corrections, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allen B. Downey
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