Not being a materials engineer by trade, I had a lot of "boning up" to do for my research experience. Following are a list of websites and books that I found particularly helpful in getting me up to speed...
At some point during my research experience, I used each of the following websites. Some were more helpful than others, but all provided assistance in one way or another:
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/654186/Youngs-modulus -- a description of Young's modulus and how to calculate it mathematically.
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/young-modulus-d_417.html -- a listing of the elastic properties and Young's modulus for common materials.
http://news.alibaba.com/article/detail/metalworking/100190268-1-metals-knowledge%253A-true-stress--.html -- A mathematical description of how to calculate true stress and true strain.
http://invsee.asu.edu/srinivas/stress-strain/phase.html?x=180&y=15# -- a typical stress-strain graph for any ductile material, with JAVA animations to illustrate relevant sections of the curve.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/v80163447r438362/ -- an article detailing an investigation of the shape of the titanium stress strain curves after a strain rate change.
http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/sec_subscribe.asp?CID=5758&DID=167877&action=detail -- an article that discusses the "unload modulus" and how it compares to the elastic modulus (or Young's modulus) for certain materials.
http://www.mathalino.com/reviewer/mechanics-and-strength-of-materials/stress-strain-diagram -- another article and diagram detailing the common components of a stress-strain curve.
http://www.dynasupport.com/howtos/material/from-engineering-to-true-strain-true-stress -- an article discussing the logarithmic equation to describe true strain.
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~t_model/spidersilk%20website/Properties.htm -- Another example of a stress-strain curve, this one involving the material, spider silk.
http://www.cambridge-insitu.com/tech_papers/TrueStrain/TRUESTRN.htm -- An article discussing the difference between engineering strain and true strain.
http://imechanica.org/node/6797 -- A forum discussion on the difference between engineering strain and true strain. Imechanica.org is a website designed for usage by and comprised of members who are mechanicians.
http://www.engpedia.com/index.php/True_Stress_and_True_Strain -- A summary of the formulas for true stress and true strain, along with an illustrative graph.
http://www.purplemath.com/modules/solvexpo2.htm -- An explanation/refresher of how to solve exponential equations using logarithms.
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/MATLAB_Programming/Error_Messages -- a wiki-book detailing some common MATLAB error messages and their meanings.
The following books, provided to me by my lab mentor, Josh Shaffer, were also instrumental in my research experience:
Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction, 7th Edition, by William D. Callister, Jr., copyright 2007, John Wiley & Son, Inc., ISBN 0-471-73696-1, New York, NY. -- Chapter 6 of this textbook was particularly helpful in learning about the concepts of stress and strain.
Numerical Analysis, 8th edition, by Richard L. Burden and J. Douglas Faires copyright 2005, Thomson Brooks/Cole, ISBN 0-534-40499-5, Belmont, CA. -- A summary and high-level mathematical analysis of data interpolation techniques.
MATLAB Guide, 2nd Edition, by Desmond J. Higham and Nicholas J. Higham, copyright 2005, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, ISBN 0-89871-578-4, Philadelphia, PA. -- A list of basic and more advanced commands in MATLAB, along with a detailed description of their functions.
Numerical Analysis Using MATLAB and Excel, 3rd Edition, by Steven T. Karris, Copyright 2007, Orchard Publications, ISBN 1-934404-04-7, Fremont, CA -- An easy-to-use, easy-to-learn workbook of MATLAB activities, providing both well-explained examples and valuable exercises to practice using MATLAB.