Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Essentials of MATLAB® Programming, 3rd Edition

  • Stephen J. Chapman
  • ISBN-10: 1305970659
  • ISBN-13: 9781305970656
  • 512 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2006
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

Introduce the MATLAB language to your students and show how to use it to solve typical problems with the concise, successful ESSENTIALS OF MATLAB® PROGRAMMING, 3E. Author Stephen Chapman emphasizes problem-solving skills throughout this edition as he presents MATLAB as a technical programming language. The book clearly shows students how to write clean, efficient and well-documented programs, while simultaneously introducing them to many of the practical functions of MATLAB. The first seven chapters are ideal for an “Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving” course for freshman engineering students. The last two chapters address more advanced topics of additional data types and plot types, cell arrays, structures, and new MATLAB handle graphics.


  • BRIEF VERSION HIGHLIGHTS THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF USING MATLAB. This concise, streamlined text emphasizes the MATLAB skills students are most likely to use on a daily basis, while still emphasizing MATLAB’s use as a programming language.

  • PRESENTATION TEACHES THE PROPER USE OF MATLAB’S BUILT IN TOOLS. Students leave your course equipped to complete more efficient programming and debugging.

  • MATERIAL EMPHASIZES METHODS FOR EFFICIENTLY LOCATING DESIRED FUNCTIONS WITHIN MATLAB. In addition to teaching key features of MATLAB, this brief text places important emphasis on teaching students where to find the functions that they need within the MATLAB platform.

  • GOOD PROGRAMMING PRACTICES ARE EMPHASIZED THROUGHOUT. The author carefully reinforces strong programming skills, such as top-down design. He emphasizes the importance of first clearly defining the problem to be solved as well as required inputs and outputs before starting any project.

  • STUDENTS USE FUNCTIONS TO DECOMPOSE TASKS INTO SMALLER SUBTASKS. Clear presentations guide students through data hiding, unit testing, and how to avoid common mistakes. The author has carefully addressed the MATLAB tools that make programming easier, including the Editor/Debugger, Workspace Browser, and Help Browser.

  • “GOOD PROGRAMMING” BOXES HIGHLIGHT STRONG PROGRAMMING PRACTICES. This special learning feature draws additional attention to programming skills as they are introduced.

  • “PROGRAMMING PITFALL” BOXES EMPHASIZE COMMON ERRORS. These helpful features address typical mistakes and demonstrate how students can avoid them as they work and complete projects.

  • ADVANCED COVERAGE ADDRESSES DATA STRUCTURES AND NEW HANDLE GRAPHICS. Chapter 9 explains data structures through cell arrays and structure arrays. Through the new handle graphics features students learn to control the appearance of plots and graphs.

  • PROVEN LEARNING FEATURES AID IN STUDENT COMPREHENSION. To ensure student comprehension and offer tools for study and review, the book include quizzes as well as end-of-chapter summaries and questions with provided answers for self-testing.

  • WEBSITE CONVENIENTLY OFFERS THE SOURCE CODE FOR ALL EXAMPLES. The book’s companion website highlights the source code used in all of the illustrations within the book and highlights instructor’s source code for all solutions.


“I especially like the emphasis on top-down program design and the use of functions to decompose problem into sub-problems.”
— Ming Leung, Polytechnic Institute of New York University

About the Author

Stephen J. Chapman

Stephen J. Chapman received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana State University and an M.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. He pursued further graduate studies at Rice University. Mr. Chapman has served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, assigned to teach Electrical Engineering at the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida. He was also affiliated with the University of Houston, where he ran the power systems program in the College of Technology. In addition, he has served as a member of the technical staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory, both at the main facility in Lexington, Massachusetts, and at the field site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. While there, he did research in radar signal processing systems. He ultimately became the leader of four large operational range instrumentation radars at the Kwajalein field site (TRADEX, ALTAIR, ALCOR, and MMW). Mr. Chapman also served as a research engineer at Shell Development Company in Houston, Texas, where he conducted seismic signal processing research. In addition, he was affiliated with the University of Houston, where he continued to teach on a part-time basis. Mr. Chapman is currently Manager of Systems Modeling and Operational Analysis for BAE Systems Australia in Melbourne, Australia. He is the subject matter expert of a team that has developed a model of how naval ships defend themselves. This model contains more than 400,000 lines of MATLAB code written over more than a decade. Mr. Chapman is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (and several of its component societies). He is also a member of the Institution of Engineers (Australia).

Table of Contents

The Advantages of MATLAB. Disadvantages of MATLAB. The MATLAB Environment. Using MATLAB as a Calculator. Summary. Exercises.
Variables and Arrays. Creating and Initializing Variables in MATLAB. Multidimensional Arrays. Subarrays. Special Values. Displaying Output Data. Data Files.
Scalar and Array Operations. Hierarchy of Operations. Built-in MATLAB Functions. Introduction to Plotting. Examples. Debugging MATLAB Programs. Summary. Exercises.
Additional Plotting Features for Two-Dimensional Plots. Polar Plots. Annotating and Saving Plots. Additional Types of Two-Dimensional Plots. Using the plot function with Two-Dimensional Arrays. Summary. Exercises.
Introduction to Top-Down Design Techniques. Use of Pseudocode. The Logical Data Type. Branches. More on Debugging MATLAB Programs. Summary. Exercises.
The while Loop. The for Loop Logical Arrays and Vectorization. The MATLAB Profiler. Additional Examples. The textread Function. Summary. Exercises.
Introduction to MATLAB Functions. Variable Passing in MATLAB: The Pass-By-Value Scheme. Optional Arguments. Sharing Data Using Global Memory. Preserving Data Between Calls to a Function. Built-in MATLAB Functions: Sorting Functions. Built-in MATLAB Functions: Random Number Functions. Summary. Exercises.
Function Functions. Local Functions, Private Functions, and Nested Functions. Function Handles. Anonymous Functions. Recursive Functions. Plotting Functions. Histograms. Summary. Exercises.
Complex Data. Strings and String Functions. Multidimensional Arrays. Three-Dimensional Plots. Summary. Exercises.
Cell Arrays. Structure Arrays. Handle Graphics. Position and Units. Printer Positions. Default and Factory Properties. Graphics Object Properties. Summary. Exercises.
Appendix A: UTF-8 Character Set.
Appendix B: MATLAB Input / Output Functions.
Appendix C: Answers to Quizzes.

New to this edition

  • UPDATES REPRESENT MATLAB VERSIONS 2014B AND LATER. This edition of the text equips students to use the most recent MATLAB versions and familiarizes them with the latest features, such as the new H2 graphics system.
  • REVISIONS REFLECT THE LATEST MATLAB FUNCTIONS. Students leave your course prepared to work with the latest changes in MATLAB, such as the new “legend” options and the tools to easily remove descriptions of deprecated features.
  • NEW CONTENT INTRODUCES THE OBJECT-STYLE APPROACH TO ADDRESSING GRAPHICS PROPERTIES. This edition clearly teaches students how to master object-oriented approach while also maintaining a description of the older keyword-value approach.
  • CONCISE PRESENTATIONS CONCENTRATE ON THE MOST USEFUL FEATURES OF MATLAB. This brief text focuses on features that most users need in their daily tasks. Advanced capabilities, such as MATLAB GUIs and object-oriented programming, are excluded from this concise book to keep the length and cost reasonable. (These topics are covered thoroughly in the larger version of this book: MATLAB® PROGRAMMING FOR ENGINEERS.)
  • SHORTER EARLIER CHAPTERS PRESENT CONCEPTS IN MANAGEABLE SEGMENTS. The author has separated important topics in this edition to help students absorb the material in more bite-sized chunks. Branches and loops are now each addressed in their own chapters, while the discussion of functions is divided into two chapters.
  • NEW CHAPTER 3 IS DEDICATED EXCLUSIVELY TO 2D PLOTS. The author has collected and placed all of the plotting information in a single place to ensure student comprehension.
  • CHAPTER 8 NOW OFFERS MORE EXTENSIVE COVERAGE OF 3D PLOTS. Students who are ready to take their understanding of 3D Plots to the next level can now find additional explanations and depth of coverage within this chapter.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Solutions Manual  (ISBN-10: 1305970691 | ISBN-13: 9781305970694)

This convenient Solutions Manual provides time-saving code and graphic solutions for all exercises.

Companion Website  (ISBN-10: 1305970705 | ISBN-13: 9781305970700)

Everything you need for your course in one place! This collection of product-specific lecture and class tools is available online via the instructor resource center. You'll be able to access and download materials such as the Instructor’s Manual, PowerPoints and Test Banks.

MindTap Engineering, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Chapman's Essentials of MATLAB® Programming  (ISBN-10: 1305970853 | ISBN-13: 9781305970854)

MindTap Engineering for Chapman’s Essentials of MATLAB® Programming, 3E, is the digital learning solution that helps instructors engage and transform today’s students into critical thinkers. Through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics and an accessible reader, MindTap helps you turn cookie cutter into cutting edge, apathy into engagement, and memorizers into higher-level thinkers.

Student Supplements

MindTap Engineering, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Chapman's Essentials of MATLAB® Programming  (ISBN-10: 1305970853 | ISBN-13: 9781305970854)

MindTap Engineering for Chapman’s Essentials of MATLAB® Programming, 3E, provides you with the tools you need to better manage your limited time – you can complete assignments whenever and wherever you are ready to learn with course material specially customized for you by your instructor and streamlined in one proven, easy-to-use interface. With an array of tools and apps – from note taking to flashcards – you’ll get a true understanding of course concepts, helping you to achieve better grades and setting the groundwork for your future courses. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage.