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Applied Problem Solving with Matlab (10.317)
Illustrative Applications

The best way to learn a new programming language, such as Matlab, and the only way to really develop experience with a variety of problem solving strategies and numerical techniques is to be exposed to a variety of good examples that illustrate the most important features of interest. My approach to teaching Matlab and Applied Numerical Methods follows this philosophy and, as such, my goal is to provide you with as many illustrative examples as possible. Towards this goal, I have generated a series of completely worked-out applications for you to use as a learning resource for this course. In some cases, the examples are pretty simple, with the goal of highlighting one or two key concepts. In other cases, a fairly comprehensive analysis of a particular system is given, with the goal of showing how to tackle some more complicated problems that require the integration of several tools or techniques. In all cases, there is something significant to be gained from the examples, so I strongly encourage you to put this material to good use!

These Illustrative Applications have been included in a series of separate files (in pdf format) that cover a variety of topics, with the full development of the problem, the implementation of a solution algorithm within Matlab, and a brief discussion and interpretation of the results from the analysis. The Matlab programs are embedded within tables as part of the individual files and these represent a major additional resource for this course. You should definitely review each of these cases and use them, as appropriate, to help in your understanding of using Matlab as a problem-solving tool and as additional examples of the various numerical techniques introduced throughout the course. These additional illustrative examples will also serve as a great resource for your homework assignments and projects.

A list of the examples currently available, by lesson, is tabulated below (with links to the associated pdf file):

Lesson 1: Getting Started With Matlab
Title for Demo
pdf File
Pendulum Dynamics (discussed as part of Lesson #1)
Maxwell Boltzmann Distribution
Laminar vs. Turbulent Flow in a Pipe
Pipe Insulation Considerations

Lesson 2: Array and Matrix Operations in Matlab
Title for Demo
pdf File
Sand Pit Utilization
Maxwellian Distribution Revisited
2-D Projectile Motion -- A Bottle Cap Tossing Simulation

Lesson 3: Programming in Matlab
Title for Demo
pdf File
Hurricane Edouard (Aug. 21 – Sept. 3, 1996)
Heat Transfer in a Rectangular Fin
Measurement Error in a Temperature Probe

Lesson 4: Numerical Errors
Title for Demo
pdf File
On Evaluating Infinite Series -- An Example
Evaluating and Plotting Space-Time Temperature Distributions
Introduction to Finite Difference Methods

Lesson 5: Root Finding and Polynomial Manipulations
Title for Demo
pdf File
Friction Effects in Pipe Flow
Energy Balance on a Conducting Rod
Comprehensive Analysis of a Slanted Gate

Lesson 6: Systems of Equations
Title for Demo
pdf File
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Last updated by Prof. John R. White (Sept. 2005)

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