# SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION. ENGR 112 Introduction to Engineering Computing

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1 SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION ENGR 112 Introduction to Engineering Computing

2 2 Course Overview

3 What is Programming? 3 Programming The implementation of algorithms in a particular computer programming language for execution on a computer Algorithm A step-by-step procedure for performing a computation, solving a problem, performing some action, etc. a recipe Algorithm design is the meat of programming the rest is just translation into a particular language Programming language We ll use MATLAB. Others include C, C++, Python, Fortran, etc. Computer May be a PC, or may be a microcontroller, FPGA, etc.

4 Why Programming? 4 I don t want to be a software engineer. Why do I need to learn to program? All engineers will need to write computer code throughout their careers Design and simulation Numerical solution of mathematical problems Data analysis from measurements or simulation Firmware for the control of mechatronic systems More importantly: development of algorithmic thinking ability Learn to think like an engineer single most important takeaway from your engineering education

5 Course Overview 5 Section 1: Introduction Section 2: Vectors and Matrices Section 3: Two-Dimensional Plotting Section 4: Algorithmic Thinking & Flow Charts Section 5: Structured Programming in MATLAB Section 6: User-Defined Functions Section 7: Three-Dimensional Plotting Section 8: File I/O Introductory material: Course overview Introduction to required tools Linear algebra basics Platform- (MATLAB) specific material: A valuable engineering tool learn to use it effectively Algorithm fundamentals: Generic; Platform-independent Engineering thinking transcends programming Application of the fundamentals: MATLAB-specific, but Similar to other languages

6 MATLAB 6 This a course in programming fundamentals and algorithmic thinking The tool we ll use to develop these concepts is MATLAB Could just as well use another language, e.g., Python, C, C++, Java, Fortran, The important concepts are not language-specific Two goals of this course: Learn to develop basic algorithms and to write structured computer code Learn to use MATLAB

7 7 Introduction to MATLAB The remainder of this section of notes is intended to provide a brief introduction to MATLAB. This is not intended to be a thorough tutorial on the use of the tool, but the beginning of a process that will continue throughout the course.

8 The MATLAB Desktop 8 Workspace File Browser Command History

9 The MATLAB Desktop Command Window 9 Command-line operation Behaves like a calculator Useful for: Quick calculations Simple debugging tasks

10 The MATLAB Desktop Editor Window 10 Editor for m-files Scripts Collections of commands executed sequentially Functions Built-in debugger Set breakpoints Step through code line-byline or by section

11 The MATLAB Desktop Workspace 11 Lists all variables currently stored in memory Values for scalars and small arrays Size and data types for larger arrays Double-click a variable to open in a spreadsheet

12 The MATLAB Desktop Current Folder 12 File browser A built-in Windows Explorer Open, move, copy, rename, delete files from within MATLAB

13 The MATLAB Desktop Command History 13 Lists previously-executed commands All commands issued through the command window Double-click to re-execute Arrow keys cycle through command history in the command window

14 The MATLAB Desktop Docking Windows 14

15 The MATLAB Desktop Docking Windows 15 Docked windows stay on top of the desktop Won t get hidden below other windows Can dock figure windows as well

16 The MATLAB Desktop Saving Layouts 16 Favorite desktop configuration or configurations can be saved

17 Assignment of Variables 17 Can define variables and assign values Variable and value echoed in command window Terminating command with semicolon suppresses echo Variables then appear in workspace

18 18 Data Types/Classes Variables used in MATLAB can be of many different types, e.g. integers, floating-point numbers, alphanumeric characters, etc. The following section introduces each of these data types. You ll gain a better understanding of each as the course progresses.

19 Variable Declaration 19 In MATLAB, it isn t necessary to declare a variable before using it, e.g.: a = ; Declaration occurs automatically upon assignment Default type is double This differs from many other languages, e.g. in C: or float a; a = ; float a = ;

20 Variable Names 20 Variable names must start with a letter Names may contain letters, numbers, and underscore characters No spaces Names are case sensitive Don t name variables with names of built-in functions Can be done, but that function will not be available as long as the variable is defined in the workspace

21 Fundamental MATLAB Data Types 21 MATLAB supports many different numeric and nonnumeric data types or classes Numeric classes int8, int16, int32, int64 uint8, uint16, uint32, uint64 single double Non-numeric classes logical char table cell struct function handle

22 Data Classes double 22 When you assign a variable a numeric value, e.g. a = ; by default, its class is double double Numeric value stored using double-precision floating-point format 64 bits used to store each variable value Accurate representation of very large and very small values Range: ± ± Can usually ignore numerical errors due to inaccurate numeric representation

23 Non-Default Data Classes 23 It is possible to force MATLAB to store numeric variable values as other classes We ll rarely, if ever, do this here May become important if writing code for execution on non-pc target hardware, E.g., microcontroller for control system application Default, double, class requires 64 bits May consume excessive memory Mathematical operations may be too slow on some hardware Other data classes trade off precision for memory

24 Data Classes single 24 single Single-precision floating-point format 32 bits Less memory required than for double Less precise than double Range: ± ±

25 Data Classes int8, int16, int32, int64 25 Signed integers One sign bit remainder for integer value int8 8-bit Min: -128 Max: 127 int16 16-bit Min: Max: int32 32-bit Min: Max: int64 64-bit Min: Max:

26 Data Classes uint8, uint16, uint32, uint64 26 Unsigned integers All bits used to store integer value uint8 8-bit Min: 0 Max: 255 uint16 16-bit Min: 0 Max: uint32 32-bit Min: 0 Max: uint64 64-bit Min: 0 Max:

27 Non-numeric Classes logical 27 Data type that stores one of only two values: True stored as a 1 False stored as a 0 For example, relational (comparison) operations return logical values: Relational operation evaluates as true b stored as a logical with value 1

28 Non-numeric Classes char 28 Data type used for text Alphanumeric characters Useful for: Reading from and writing to files Annotating plots, etc. Variables are of the char class when their assigned value is enclosed in single quotes:

29 Non-numeric Classes cell 29 A cell array is a collection of individual data containers called cells Each cell in an array may be of a different size or different class For example, c is an array of char and double cells: c is of class cell

30 Non-numeric Classes table 30 Container to hold column-oriented data of different types and sizes Useful for spreadsheet-like data Each column contains a different variable May also include metadata properties, e.g.: Variable units Row names, etc.

31 Non-numeric Classes struct 31 Structures are arrays with named fields, each containing data of varied class and size Field data can be accessed individually

32 32 Mathematical Operations and Built-In Functions MATLAB includes an extensive library of general-purpose, as well as many applicationspecific, built-in functions.

33 Basic Mathematical Operations 33 MATLAB includes all of the basic mathematical functions you would expect in a scientific calculator Addition Subtraction Multiplication Division Exponentiation

34 Order of Operations 34 MATLAB order of operations: 1) ( ) parentheses 2) ^ exponentiation 3) - negation 4) *, /, \ multiplication, division 5) +, - addition, subtraction Expressions are evaluated left to right within each level of the precedence hierarchy

35 Built-In Functions 35 MATLAB includes many built-in mathematical functions, including: Square root: xx Exponential: ee xx Factorial: xx! Absolute value: xx And many, many more

36 Trigonometric Functions 36 Trigonometric functions expect input arguments expressed in radians Inverse trig functions return values in radians To operate in degrees Convert Use degree-specific functions: sind, cosd, atand, etc.

37 Built-In Functions clear, clc 37 clear x y or clear all Deletes some or all variables from memory clc Clears the command window Good practice to start all scripts with: clear all; clc

38 Logarithms 38 Natural logarithm y = log(x) Log base 10 y = log10(x) Log base 2 y = log2(x)

39 Built-In Constants 39 Some built-in MATLAB constants: ππ: pi Imaginary unit ( 1): i or j Infinity ( ): inf Not-a-number: NaN Result of most recently executed command: ans Largest positive floating-point number: realmax Smallest positive floating-point number: realmin

40 Scientific Notation 40 Use scientific notation to represent very large or small numbers, e.g.: Very bad practice to type a lot of zeros never do this: Difficult to read, and much too easy to miscount zeros In MATLAB use e for 10 xx, e.g.: x = 1.58e-9; Don t confuse with ee xx (i.e xx ) represented by exp(x)

41 MATLAB Help Documentation 41 Two ways to access MATLAB help files: Type: help <function> at the command line Use the help documentation browser Not sure if a function exists to do something you want? It probably does search for it in the documentation

42 42 MATLAB Scripts M-Files

43 MATLAB Command Window 43 As we ve seen, we can enter commands into MATLAB through the command window Useful for quick calculations, debugging, etc. Enter one expression at a time To execute a sequence of commands repeatedly, must re-enter all commands each time Command history is only record of executed commands Better practice is to write all commands to be executed in a single file or script, called an m-file

44 M-Files 44 M-files are files containing a series of MATLAB commands These are scripts or programs So called due to the.m filename extension Quickly and easily re-run at any time no need to re-type all commands in the command window Executed by entering the m-file name on the command line or by clicking the Run button Our primary mode of interaction with MATLAB

45 Scripts vs. Programs 45 We ll use the terms scripts or programs interchangeably when referring to MATLAB m-files Technically, m-files are scripts, but this distinction is not important for our purposes. Programs Written (possibly) in a high-level language source code Compiled (once) by a compiler into a machine language executable file object code Fast, because compilation performed once, ahead of runtime Scripts High-level source code is interpreted and executed line-by-line by an interpreter at runtime Slower than compiled programs

46 MATLAB Editor 46 Built-in text editor for m-files Automatic color coding Automatic indenting Warnings specified prior to runtime Built-in debugger Editor tabs allow for simultaneous editing of multiple m-files

47 M-File Naming Requirements 47 M-file names must start with a letter Names may contain letters, numbers, and underscore characters No spaces Names are case sensitive Don t name m-files with names of built-in functions Can be done, but may lead to confusion Local m-file will take precedence over the built-in function determined by the MATLAB path

48 The MATLAB Path 48 M-files can be executed three ways Click the Run button (see p. 4) Enter the m-file name at the command line Call the m-file by name from within another m-file But, the m-file must be in the MATLAB path The path is an ordered list of directories where MATLAB looks to find m-files when called The MATLAB path includes: The present working directory All MATLAB libraries of built-in functions Any directory that you explicitly add to the path

49 The MATLAB Path 49 All m-files outside of the PWD user-defined or built-in must be in the path to be accessed For now, this means you must set the PWD to be the location of the m-file you re working with

50 Present Working Directory Current Folder 50 PWD is indicated on the MATLAB desktop in one of two possible locations As shown here, or In the Current Folder sub-window Current Folder sub-window shows contents of the present working directory These files are all automatically in the path

51 M-Files Best Practices 51 Start m-files with a comment listing the file name. File names cannot contain spaces or special characters. Additional comments with a brief overall m-file description and other details is useful. clear all clears all variables stored in the workspace. clc clears the command window you ll know if error messages are from the current run. Define constants to be used in equations. Parameters can be changed in a single place. Always comment your code. Err on the side of excessive comments.

52 Comments 52 Comments are explanatory or descriptive text added to your code Not executed commands In MATLAB, comments are preceded by the percent sign: % Comments may occupy an entire line Or, may be inserted at the end of a line, after uncommented expressions Ctrl+R comments a line of text in the MATLAB editor Ctrl+T uncomments a line Commenting is useful for temporarily removing instructions from an m-file

53 Clearing the Workspace clear.m 53 Good practice to clear all variables from memory at the start of an m-file Prevents problems due to variables of the same name from previous runs or other m-files Use clear.m to clear the entire workspace: clear all; Or, to clear individual variables, e.g.: or clear x A N clear( x, A, N )

54 Clearing the Workspace Example 54 M-file to generate a vector of N = 10 random numbers: The result:

55 Clearing the Workspace Example 55 Run again for N = 5 without clearing the workspace: x still contains 10 numbers last 5 from the previous run:

56 Clearing the Workspace Example 56 Run again for N = 5, but now clear the workspace: Now, the length of x is 5, as expected:

57 clc.m 57 Issuing the command clc clears all text from the command window Good practice to always do this at the start of every m-file Errors are reported in the command window Want to know if they are from the most recent m-file execution or a previous run If the command window is cleared first, any error messages must be from the most recent run

58 Pseudocode 58 The most important part of the process of writing computer code is planning Determine exactly what the program should do And, how it will do it Before writing any code, write a step-by-step description of the program Natural language Graphical flow chart (more later) This may be referred to as pseudocode

59 Programming Process 59 Programming process: Define the problem Ensure you have a complete understanding of the problem Determine exactly what the program should do Inputs and outputs Relevant equations Design the program Pseudocode language-independent Write the program Simple translation from pseudocode Validate the program Do the outputs make sense Test with inputs that yield known outputs Test thoroughly try to break it

60 Pseudocode 60 Comments can serve as pseudocode Write the comments first Then insert code to do what the comments say For example:

61 Sequential Code Execution 61 In general code is executed line-by-line sequentially from the top of an m-file down There are, however, very important non-sequential code structures: Conditional statements code that is executed only if certain conditions are met if else switch Loops code that is repeated a specified number of times or while certain conditions are met for while

62 62 Inputs & Outputs

63 Inputs to Scripts 63 Inputs to a script: Assignments of variable values Several input methods: At the command line Within the script Specified by user during execution input.m

64 User-Specified Input input.m 64 Prompt user for value to be assigned to a variable var = input(prompt) Prompt: a string that will be displayed in the command window, prompting the user for an input var: variable to which the user-specified input is stored For example:

65 Outputs from Scripts 65 Outputs from scripts: Display of values calculated by the script Several output methods Plotting In the command window Omission of trailing semicolon (;) in script disp.m display.m fprintf.m Writing data to files (more later)

66 fprintf.m 66 Output formatted data to a string in the command window fprintf(formatspec,a1,a2,,an) formatspec: a string may contain formatting sequences for insertion of variable values A1,A2,,An: variables whose values are to be inserted into the string one for each formatting sequence in formatspec For example:

67 Formatting Sequences 67 String may contain number formatting sequences Percent character (%) followed by conversion sequence Indicates the beginning of a formatting sequence Field width: minimum number of character spaces used to display the variable value % 6. 4 f Conversion character: here, f indicates representation in fixedpoint format Precision: # of digits to the right of the decimal point (f, e, or E) or # of significant digits (g or G)

68 Conversion Characters 68 Conversion characters specify how to format variable values within a string Value Type Conversion Character Signed integer %d Unsigned integer %u Fixed-point notation %f Exponential notation (e.g., 1.6e-19) Exponential notation (e.g., 1.6E-19) %e %E More compact of %e or %f %g More compact of %E or%f %G Single character %c String %s

69 Formatting Sequences Examples 69 Fixed-point notation Field-width control Exponential notation Compact format

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