Getting Started With MATLAB
- Finding your way around the window
- Matlab Syntax
- More on Matrices
- Further Reading
What is Matlab?MATLAB is a computer program for people doing numerical computation, especially linear algebra (matrices). It began as a "MATrix LABoratory" program, intended to provide interactive access to the libraries Linpack and Eispack. It has since grown well beyond these libraries, to become a powerful tool for visualization, programming, research, engineering, and communication.
Matlab's strengths include cutting-edge algorithms, enormous data handling abilities, and powerful programming tools. The Matlab is not designed for symbolic computation, but does include a Maple kernel for such computations. The interface is mostly text-based, which may be disconcerting for some users.
Matlab is packaged as a core program with several "toolboxes", sold seperately. We will only cover the base package.
How to use this documentThis document is intended to be used while sitting at a computer running either NT or the X windows system. It is assumed that you will enter the commands shown, and then think about the result.
The reader of this document should have at least a passing familiarity with linear algebra and be comfortable using computers. In order to be more broadly understood, we will not cover any engineering topics (e.g. signal processing, spectral analysis), though Matlab is commonly used for these tasks. No previous math software experience is necessary, though we will point out important differences between the various packages along the way.
If you are using Matlab over a text-based terminal (such as Telnet or SSH), you might want to follow the Using Math Software under UNIX tutorial after you are finished with this one.
Throughout this document, we will use the following conventions.
|File -> Open||Choose the file menu, and select Open.|
|a = 5||Input to be typed at the Matlab prompt.|
|a = |
|Output from Matlab.|
|An important tip.|
Where to find MatlabMATLAB is available for many different kinds of computers at Indiana University Bloomington.
- All Student Technology Centers
- The central server Quarry.
How to Start and Exit MatlabTo start Matlab:
- On a Windows machine, choose Start Menu ->Programs->Statistics-Math->Matlab.
- On a Unix machine type matlab to run it interactively.
Note that plots will be displayed in an X-window, if you have set the DISPLAY variable. You may also type matlab -display hostname:0.
Eventually, you should see:
< M A T L A B > Copyright 1984-2005 The MathWorks, Inc. Version 126.96.36.1992 (R14) Service Pack 2 January 29, 2005 New users may want to read "Getting Started with Matlab." at http://www.indiana.edu/~statmath/math/matlab/gettingstarted Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.The line >> is the Matlab prompt.
To exit Matlab, type (at the matlab prompt) exit or choose File->Exit MATLAB.