Engineering Problem Solving with C

Delores M Etter  
Total pages
May 2012
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Engineering Problem Solving with C
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This introductory-level C programming book is designed primarily for engineering students required to learn how to program.
In Engineering Problem Solving with C, 4th Edition, best-selling author, Delores Etter, uses real-world engineering and scientific examples and problems throughout the text. Solutions to the problems are developed using the language C and the author's signature five-step problem solving process. Since learning any new skill requires practice at a number of different levels of difficulty, four types of exercises are presented to develop problem-solving skills - Practice! problems, Modify! problems, Short-Answer problems, and Programming problems. The author's clear and precise style creates a highly accessible and readable text for students of all levels.


  • Five Step Problem Solving Process - Reinforces the development of problem-solving skills through top-down design and stepwise refinement
    • Step 1: State the problem clearly
    • Step 2: Describe the input and output information
    • Step 3: Work a simple example by hand
    • Step 4: Develop an algorithm and convert it to a computer program
    • Step 5: Test the solution on a variety of data
  • Engineering and Scientific Applications - incorporates real-world engineering and scientific examples and problems throughout the text
    • Includes problems related to areas such as aerospace, electrical, mechanical, environmental, biomedical, power, and computer engineering
  • Optional Numerical Techniques - includes techniques such as interpolation, linear modeling, root finding, and solutions to simultaneous equations
    • Presents the topics using only a trigonometry and college algebra background
  • Pointers and Structures - covers pointers and structures with a number of examples including dynamic memory allocation and linked lists
    • Shows students how to use pointers and structures in arrays and functions
  • Introduction to C++ - introduces students to object-oriented programming
    • Presents the basic language features for working with objects and classes
  • Non-technical Skills - presents some of the non-technical skills and capabilities needed by engineers in the 21st century
    • Discusses important topics such as communication skills, the design/process/manufacture path, the world marketplace, ethics, and societal concerns

New to this Edition

  • The new theme for this edition is crime scene investigation (CSI). Learning about the technology behind crime scene investigation is not only interesting to students, but it provides a number of problems for which we can develop C program solutions.
  • Section 1.2 has been rewritten to include discussions on current topics such as cloud computing and kernels.
  • A new four-color insert has been added to define an important area of crime scene investigation — biometrics. Biometrics is a term used to describe the physical or behavioral characteristics that can be used to identify a person. The insert includes discussions on fingerprints, face recognition, iris recognition, DNA, and speech recognition.
  • Each chapter begins with a photo and a related discussion on a technology used in crime scene investigation. Then, within each chapter after Chapter 1, a related application section has been added so that in addition to learning all the key features of C, you will also learn about forensic anthropology, face recognition and surveillance video, iris recognition, speech analysis and speech recognition, DNA analysis, fingerprint recognition, and hand recognition. In these application sections we will develop a C solution to a problem related to the crime scene technology.
  • New Modify! problems have been added to each new applications.
  • The material in Chapter 8 on C++ has been updated to reflect the new C++ standards.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Engineering Problem Solving
  • 2 Simple C Programs
  • 3 Control Structures and Data Files
  • 4 Modular Programming with Functions
  • 5 Arrays and Matrices
  • 6 Programming with Pointers
  • 7 Programming with Structures
  • 8 An Introduction to C++
  • Appendix A ANSI C Standard Library
  • Appendix B ASCII Character Codes
  • Appendix C Using MATLAB to Plot Data from ASCII Files
  • Glossary
  • Index

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