Calculus of variations has a long history. Its fundamentals were laid down by icons of mathematics like Euler and Lagrange. It was once heralded as the panacea for all engineering optimization problems by suggesting that all
one needed to do was to state a variational problem, apply the appropriate Euler-Lagrange equation and solve the resulting differential equation.
This, as most all encompassing solutions, turned out to be not always true and the resulting differential equations are not necessarily easy to solve. On the other hand, many of the differential equations commonly used in various fields of engineering are derived from a variational problem. Hence it is an extremely important topic justifying the new edition of this book.
This third edition extends the focus of the book to academia and supports both variational calculus and mathematical modeling classes. The newly added sections, extended explanations, numerous examples and exercises aid the students in learning, the professors in teaching, and the engineers in applying variational concepts.