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Student Edition
Instructor Edition
Numerical Methods for Engineers, 6/e

Steven C Chapra, Tufts University
Raymond P Canale, University of Michigan

ISBN: 0073401064
Copyright year: 2010

Book Preface

It has been over twenty years since we published the first edition of this book. Over that period, our original contention that numerical methods and computers would figure more prominently in the engineering curriculum—particularly in the early parts—has been dramatically borne out. Many universities now offer freshman, sophomore, and junior courses in both introductory computing and numerical methods. In addition, many of our colleagues are integrating computer-oriented problems into other courses at all levels of the curriculum. Thus, this new edition is still founded on the basic premise that student engineers should be provided with a strong and early introduction to numerical methods. Consequently, although we have expanded our coverage in the new edition, we have tried to maintain many of the features that made the first edition accessible to both lower- and upper-level undergraduates. These include:
  • Problem Orientation. Engineering students learn best when they are motivated by problems. This is particularly true for mathematics and computing. Consequently, we have approached numerical methods from a problem-solving perspective.
  • Student-Oriented Pedagogy. We have developed a number of features to make this book as student-friendly as possible. These include the overall organization, the use of introductions and epilogues to consolidate major topics and the extensive use of worked examples and case studies from all areas of engineering. We have also endeavored to keep our explanations straight forward and oriented practically.
  • Computational Tools. We empower our students by helping them utilize the standard "point-and-shoot” numerical problem-solving capabilities of packages like Excel, MATLAB, and Mathcad software. However, students are also shown how to develop simple, well-structured programs to extend the base capabilities of those environments. This knowledge carries over to standard programming languages such as Visual Basic, Fortran 90 and C/C++. We believe that the current flight from computer programming represents something of a “dumbing down” of the engineering curriculum. The bottom line is that as long as engineers are not content to be tool limited, they will have to write code. Only now they may be called “macros” or “M-files.” This book is designed to empower them to do that.
Beyond these five original principles, the sixth edition has a number of new features:
  • New and Expanded Problem Sets. Most of the problems have been modified so that they yield different numerical solutions from previous editions. In addition, a variety of new problems have been included.
  • New Material. New sections have been added. These include Brent’s methods for both root location and optimization, and adaptive quadrature.
  • New Case Studies: Several interesting new case studies have been developed.
  • Mathcad. Along with Excel and MATLAB, we have added material on the popular Mathcad software package.
As always, our primary intent in writing this book is to provide students with a sound introduction to numerical methods. We believe that motivated students who enjoy numerical methods, computers, and mathematics will, in the end, make better engineers. If our book fosters an enthusiasm for these subjects, we will consider our efforts a success.

Acknowledgments. We would like to thank our friend sat McGraw-Hill. In particular, Lorraine Buczek, Debra Hash, and Bill Stenquist, who provided a positive and supportive atmosphere for creating this edition. As usual, Beatrice Sussman did a masterful job of copy-editing the manuscript. As in past editions, David Clough (University of Colorado), Mike Gustafson (Duke), and Jerry Stedinger (Cornell University) generously shared their insights and suggestions. Useful suggestions were also made by Bill Philpot (Cornell University), Jim Guilkey (University of Utah), Dong-Il Seo (Chungnam National University, Korea), and Raymundo Cordero and Karim Muci (ITESM, Mexico). The present edition has also benefited from the review sand suggestions provided by the following colleagues:

Betty Barr, University of Houston
Jordan Berg, Texas Tech University
Estelle M. Eke, California State University, Sacramento
Yogesh Jaluria, Rutgers University
S. Graham Kelly, The University of Akron
Subha Kumpaty, Milwaukee School of Engineering
Eckart Meiburg, University of California-Santa Barbara
Prashant Mhaskar, McMaster University
Luke Olson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Joseph H. Pierluissi, University of Texas at El Paso
Juan Perán, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)
Scott A. Socolofsky, Texas A&M University

It should be stressed that although we received useful advice from the aforementioned individuals, we are responsible for any inaccuracies or mistakes you may detect in this edition. Please contact Steve Chapra via e-mail if you should detect any errors in this edition.

Finally, we would like to thank our family, friends, and students for their enduring patience and support. In particular, Cynthia Chapra and Claire Canale are always there providing understanding, perspective, and love.

Steven C. Chapra
Medford, Massachusetts

Raymond P. Canale
Lake Leelanau, Michigan

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