Preface

This textbook is intended for a first course in numerical methods for students in engineering and science, typically taught in the second year of college. The book covers the fundamentals of numerical methods from an applied point of view. It explains the basic ideas behind the various methods and shows their usefulness for solving problems in engineering and science.

In the past, a numerical methods course was essentially mathematical, emphasizing numerical analysis and theory. More recently, due to the availability of powerful desktop computers and computing software that is both affordable and powerful, the content and nature of a first course in numerical methods for engineering and science students are changing. The emphasis is shifting more and more toward applications and toward implementing numerical methods with ready-to-use tools. In a typical course, students still learn the fundamentals of numerical methods. In addition, however, they learn computer programming (or improve their programming skills if they have already been introduced to programming), and use advanced software as a tool for solving problems. MATLAB is a good example of such software. It can be used by students to write their own programs, and can be used as a tool for solving problems using its built-in functions. One of the objectives of a course in numerical methods is to prepare students in science and engineering for future courses in their areas of specialization (and their future careers) ...

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