About the Book
An introduction to modeling and simulating physical systems with MATLAB, mathematical computing software for engineers and scientists. A concise introduction to programming and modeling real world systems with MATLAB, a popular programming language for science and engineering. Unlike competing books which are often too mathematical and theoretical, this book by best-selling author Allen Downey is designed to be practical, with an emphasis on thinking about how to design and use models. The author shows you that systems may have many possible models and shows you how to justify modeling decisions, choose appropriate models, validate your choices, and iteratively improve your models. You are taught basic programming skills and how to combine them with MATLAB to model and simulate systems like population growth, baseball flight trajectories, bungee jumping, and celestial mechanics. For example, the book explores concepts like the Penny Drop Myth: the claim that a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building lands with enough force to injure a person or the sidewalk. The author addresses this myth by developing and implementing three models of the system, including or excluding features like air resistance and spin. Other physical systems include animal population growth, the coffee cooling problem, baseball trajectories, bungee jumping, and celestial mechanics. You'll learn to use MATLAB to visualize and summarize your results, as well as how to use your models to predict, explain, and design systems. The book presents applications from a range of areas including demography, thermodynamics, epidemiology, ecology, pharmacokinetics, and mechanics. Numerous exercises, sample code, and MATLAB Live Scripts (notebooks that include code, results, and explanatory text) help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary to work comfortably in MATLAB.
About the Author: Best-selling author Allen Downey is a professor with over 20 years of college-level teaching experience. He helped start Olin College, a new engineering school with the mission to create an innovative curriculum and to transform engineering education. Downey has written numerous books about programming including the best-selling Think Python, as well as several other titles that use computation to explain topics in math, science, and engineering. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.