A modern textbook should contain both the basic theory and principles, along with an updated pedagogy. Often traditional engineering thermodynamics courses are devoted only to analysis, with the expectation that students will be introduced later to relevant design considerations and concepts. Cycle analysis is logically and traditionally the focus of applied thermodynamics. Type and quantity are constrained, however, by the computational efforts required. The ability for students to approach realistic complexity is limited.
Even analyses based upon grossly simplified cycle models can be computationally taxing, with limited educational benefits. Computerised look-up tables reduce computational labour somewhat, but modelling cycles with many interactive loops can lie well outside the limits of student and faculty time budgets.