MATLAB Answers

General Question of Matlab.

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Joel
Joel on 22 Sep 2014
Answered: Ninetrees on 9 Jan 2015
So, I'm going through the chapters and doing their examples, and most seem fairly easy. But when I get to the homework, it doesn't compare to the examples throughout the chapter. They're on a whole other level. Maybe I'm just too dumb, but how do you guys do these problems given? Whenever I get to some of these problems I have no clue how to do them. What advice can you give me?
I apologize if this isn't an appropriate question for this area, and if so, I will delete it.

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Adam
Adam on 22 Sep 2014
Chapters and examples from what? You seem to be asking the question as though we should know what chapters, examples and homework you are referring to.

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Answers (4)

Ninetrees
Ninetrees on 9 Jan 2015
I agree somewhat with some of the previous answers. You need to understand the problem and come up with your own answers. I came to academia after a lengthy engineering career, and now teach physics. I notice a few things that seem to relate to this question. 1) Students are not taught well enough how to analyze problems. In real life, that is the foundation of /solving/ problems. 2) I find often that texts will present trivial examples to illustrate a point, then jump into more difficult problems as "homework". That leads to 3) I observe that in engineering, when I have a problem to solve, I can find a host of examples. In academia, students who don't dig for those examples find themselves jumping from the text to the problems.
When students are not taught well how to analyze problems, then don't see a host of worked examples, they are left on their own to "discover" what others already know. It's a little like teaching me what numbers are, then asking me to discover algebra, or teaching me the alphabet and a few basic grammar rules, then expecting me to write an advanced paper.
As a hiring engineering supervisor for a large firm, I noted that one of the most critical flaws in the educations of entry level engineers is the inability to tackle problem solving, even at the Master's level.
That all said, there must come a time when the student is challenged to discover new insights. Homework is a good time for that, but only if it is not graded (so that failures don't count against the student, only lack of effort counts against), and only if the student is prepared for the challenges. After all, engineers and scientists don't know the answers to /their/ challenging problems, either, and also make mistakes. I encourage this student to seek out other students to be part of a team, because, just as scientists and engineers have found that solving challenges as part of a team is usually more effective than going it alone, students will find that their progress faster if they participate in team studying (not team cramming, which is quite different, and ineffective in the long run). Recent research indicates that students who take exams on a team basis have better long-term retention than students who take exams as individuals.

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Youssef  Khmou
Youssef Khmou on 22 Sep 2014
Maybe you need to to understand the structure of the problem before trying to solving as program, or you try to understand the problem classically ( loops) then by vectorization.

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Stephen Cobeldick
Stephen Cobeldick on 22 Sep 2014
As Youssef KHMOU wrote, solving any problem, homework or not, means you have to understand the problem. This is the most important and sometimes hardest step, but is easy to trivialize.
Following that is strategy and sometimes a bit of luck knowing the right tools. No one expects you to re-invent the wheel: do research, find examples of similar problems, solve the parts before trying to solve the whole... With code it can be best to break a problem down and ensure that the parts are correct. Understand the tools that you are using, and know their strengths and limitations. Understand those examples too!
Use your community: ask your fellow students, discuss ideas, ask the teacher/lecturer/professor/... they don't mind people being interested, you know :)
For a great read, with lots of excellent advice for anyone trying to solve problems, you should read George Polya's classic book "How to Solve It". It is worth having on your bookshelf.

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Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 22 Sep 2014
I think that's normal. When a text walks you through the solution step by step it often seems so easy - until you try to do one yourself. It might seem harder even if it's not just because you have to come up with the solution rather than being told it. I think that's just human nature.

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