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The motivation for writing this book is that many undergraduate engineering students have to take a programming course based on MATLAB. MATLAB is a great piece of software, but it currently costs $49.00 for a student license and requires a site license to be used on school computers. Subsequently, it is costly for a student to use MATLAB and it is costly for a college to support a course that uses MATLAB. In addition, this site license expires eventually and students need to purchase another copy often before they finish their degree.

The Python programming language, on the other hand, is open source and free. To download and use Python, the cost to both the student and the college is zero (minus time spent). By moving an undergraduate engineering programming class to Python, students will save money and have greater access to the software they use in class. Further in their engineering education, students can continue to use Python for free.