The target audience colors everything about a book, being a major factor in decisions big and small, particularly both the pace and the overall writing style. Consequently it is important to note that the authors have made the conscious decision to write this book to the student, and not to the instructor. Our underlying philosophy is that reading the book should be enjoyable, despite the level of technical detail that it must incorporate. When we look back to the very first edition of Engineering Circuit Analysis, it’s clear that it was developed specifically to be more of a conversation than a dry, dull discourse on a prescribed set of fundamental topics. To keep it conversational, we’ve had to work hard at updating the book so that it continues to speak to the increasingly diverse group of students using it all over the world.
Although in many engineering programs the introductory circuits course is preceded or accompanied by an introductory physics course in which electricity and magnetism are introduced (typically from a fields perspective), this is not required to use this book. After finishing the course, many students find themselves truly amazed that such a broad set of analytical tools have been derived from only three simple scientific laws—Ohm’s law and Kirchhoff’s voltage and current laws. The first six chapters assume only a familiarity with algebra and simultaneous equations; subsequent chapters assume a first course in calculus (derivatives and integrals) is being taken in tandem. Beyond that, we have tried to incorporate sufficient details to allow the book to be read on its own.
So, what key features have been designed into this book with the student in mind? First, individual chapters are organized into relatively short subsections, each having a single primary topic. The language has been updated to remain informal and to flow smoothly. Color is used to highlight important information as opposed to merely improve the aesthetics of the page layout, and white space is provided for jotting down short notes and questions. New terms are defined as they are introduced, and examples are placed strategically to demonstrate not only basic concepts, but problemsolving approaches as well. Practice problems relevant to the examples are placed in proximity so that students can try out the techniques for themselves before attempting the end-of-chapter exercises. The exercises represent a broad range of difficulties, generally ordered from simpler to more complex, and grouped according to the relevant section of each chapter. Answers to selected odd-numbered end-of-chapter exercises are posted on the book’s website at www.mhhe.com/haytdurbin8e.
Engineering is an intensive subject to study, and students often find themselves faced with deadlines and serious workloads. This does not mean that textbooks have to be dry and pompous, however, or that coursework should never contain any element of fun. In fact, successfully solving a problem often is fun, and learning how to do that can be fun as well. Determining how to best accomplish this within the context of a textbook is an ongoing process. The authors have always relied on the often very candid feedback received from our own students at Purdue University; the California State University, Fullerton; Fort Lewis College in Durango, the joint engineering program at Florida A&M University and Florida State University, the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) and the University at Buffalo. We also
rely on comments, corrections, and suggestions from instructors and students worldwide, and for this edition, consideration has been given to a new source of comments, namely, semianonymous postings on various websites.
The first edition of Engineering Circuit Analysis was written by Bill Hayt and Jack Kemmerly, two engineering professors who very much enjoyed teaching, interacting with their students, and training generations of future engineers. It was well received due to its compact structure, “to the point” informal writing style, and logical organization. There is no timidity when it comes to presenting the theory underlying a specific topic, or pulling punches when developing mathematical expressions. Everything, however, was carefully designed to assist students in their learning, present things in a straightforward fashion, and leave theory for theory’s sake to other books. They clearly put a great deal of thought into writing the book, and their enthusiasm for the subject comes across to the reader.