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The first truly up-to-date treatment of the calculus of variations, this text is also the first to offer a simple introduction to such key concepts as optimal control and linear-quadratic control design. Suitable for junior/senior–level students of math, science, and engineering, this volume also serves as a useful reference for engineers, chemists, and forest/environmental managers. Its broad perspective features numerous exercises, hints, outlines, and comments, plus several appendixes, including a practical discussion of MATLAB. Students will appreciate the text's reader-friendly style, which features gradual advancements in difficulty and starts by developing technique rather than focusing on technical details. The examples and exercises offer many citations of engineering-based applications, and the exercises range from elementary to graduate-level projects, including longer projects and those related to classic papers.