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K-State Today

October 14, 2022

K-State Salina professor authors textbook

Submitted by Tim Bower

Taking his course notes as a starting point, Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus Associate Professor Tim Bower recently published a textbook on computational engineering. 

Bower teaches a computer programming concepts course that helps students improve their ability to solve numerical problems using computers.

"Computers are the tool of choice that modern engineers use to solve many problems," Bower said. "With the speed and storage capacity of modern computers along with advanced computational software, a personal computer can be a powerful engineering tool. As with the course that I teach, my hope in writing this book is that readers will press their computers into the service of problem-solving. We call this computational engineering. Computational engineering uses numerical computing, data analysis, visualization, and software tools to model, analyze, and solve a variety of science and engineering problems. Writing computer programs is merely a component of the process toward the goals of computational engineering. Mathematics, scientific knowledge, abstract reasoning, logic, and common sense are also components of the process." 

The book, titled "Introduction to Computational Engineering with MATLAB," was released on Sept. 28 by CRC Press. It contains an introduction to programming in MATLAB, or Matrix Laboratory — a product of MathWorks, Inc., which is a software environment designed for solving numerical problems. 

The book also covers graphical and statistical data analysis along with applications of linear algebra and numerical methods. Bower says that the topics covered in the book are ones that address problems that engineers often face and where computers are especially useful. 

Bower was in the computer science department at the K-State campus in Manhattan beginning in 1998 before joining the Salina campus's faculty in 2004.