1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Engineering Curriculum Book List

  1. Jun 5, 2012 #1
    Hey everyone,

    I'm starting applied physics in September, but I'd like to self-study engineering on the side. Not in the sense of practically getting an additional degree by self-studying, mind you, just out of interest... and because I might want to do a masters in engineering after I've done a degree in physics. In any case, when studying for a topic, I'd very much like to follow a curriculum similar to the ones actual engineering majors follow, because I figure that's the way to learn the most.

    I realize there are a few bumps in the road here. For starters, there are no lectures, demonstrations or labs I can be at for engineering. On the other hand, engineering majors use books, too, so that's what I need some advice about.

    If you're majoring or have a degree in ME, EE or AeroE (the fields of engineering I'm interested in), do you have a list of books in your curriculum you have read for your major or are going to read? What books would you recommend to someone trying to gain as complete as possible an education in the field? Do you think most of what you need to know is in those books, or are there any specific 'gaps' of knowledge you learned by attending specific lectures or labs?

    The problem is, of course, that while there are thousands of books to find on all the different subjects, for someone who wants to study something by himself its very hard to figure out what to read, and in which order to read it (or even the prerequisites for reading some of those books - it's happened to me more than once that I would begin reading a book, only to find out three chapters in that it was way above my skill level). I would very much appreciate it if a few people could share such a book list, or offer some tips to compile such a list. :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2012 #2
    MIT OpenCourseWare.

    I can tell you my school's booklist for some classes.

    -For the calculus sequence, they use Stewart's Calculus. I used Essential Calculus and found it pretty decent.
    -For differential equations, Boyce and Diprima's DE book. It's an okay book - sometimes good, sometimes really freakin' bad.
    -For vector calculus, Marsden's Vector Calculus. I haven't had anything more than a cursory glance at it, but I think I'm going to appreciate the mathematical formality in it. YMMV.

    -For thermodynamics, I would recommend Moran and Shapiro's book.

    -For programming and numerical methods in MATLAB, we used Chapman's MATLAB programming for engineers and Chapra's Numerical Methods for Engineers.

    -For Statics and Dynamics I can recommend no better book than the one written by Bedford and Fowler. Amazing book.

    -For Mechanics of Materials, we used Gere's Mechanics of Materials, which itself is a handed-down translation of a similar text by the world's foremost innovator in the field of materials, a guy by the name of Timoshenko.

    -For orbital mechanics, we're using Curtis' Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students, Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications by Vallado, Fundamentals of Astrodynamics by Mueller, Kaplan's Modern Spacecraft Dynamics and Control, and Orbital Mechanics by Prussing and Conway.

    -For low-speed aerodynamics, we're using Anderson's Fundamentals of aerodynamics, and for compressible flows we're using Anderson's Modern Compressible Flow with Historical Perspective.

    That should give you plenty to go on if you're keen on aerospace engineering. By the time you chew through those, I'll be able to give you perspectives on the upper division texts.
  4. Jun 6, 2012 #3
    Thanks for the list. :smile: Anyone else feel like sharing one? I know there must be a few more engineers hiding around somewhere. :wink:
  5. Jun 7, 2012 #4
    Anyone else? :)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook