In this online course, you will learn how to use Matlab.
What is Matlab? It is a mathematical computing software used in scientific and engineering fields that allows you to perform complex calculations of various types (such as matrix and vector calculations, equation solving, linear algebra and mathematical analysis operations, etc.)
Why is it called MATLAB?
The name MATLAB is an acronym for MATrix LABoratory.
It was developed by Cleve Moler in the 1970s to perform matrix operations in university settings.
In the 1980s, it was further expanded by Jack Little and Steve Bangert by adding new features.
Today, Matlab is a powerful computing environment capable of performing any mathematical calculation and is used in universities all over the world.
Is it free software? No. Currently, Matlab is a commercially licensed software sold by TheMathWorks. However, many universities allow their students to use Matlab for free. There are also free and open-source alternatives to Matlab, but they are less widespread and not always compatible with Matlab.
How to install Matlab on your computer
Matlab software is available for different operating systems.
You can download the software directly from TheMathWorks website.
Once installed on your PC, you can add various calculation modules. Each module adds specific functionalities to the operating environment.
The Matlab workspace
You can use the Matlab operating environment in two ways:
- Command Window
It is the classic command line where you can type and execute every single command in real-time. It is an interactive operating environment similar to a highly evolved calculator. The command line prompt is represented by the default symbol >> and is followed by a flashing cursor where you can type in commands.
Note. The functioning of Matlab's command line is based on the REPL (Read Evaluate Print Loop) principle. When you type a command on the command line and hit enter, the software reads the command (read), processes it (evaluate), displays the result (print), and returns to the command line prompt (loop).
- Creating a script using Matlab's editor
You can also use Matlab to write programs (scripts) through an internal editor. Scripts are files with the .m extension that contain sequences of commands. Once you create a script, you can save it on your PC and run it whenever you need to. This way, you avoid having to write the same commands every time.
What is Matlab used for?
You can use the Matlab environment to perform calculations of various types.
Here are some practical examples of using the Matlab environment:
- Solving a system of linear equations
- Creating a matrix
- Creating a vector
- Calculating derivatives
- Calculating indefinite integrals
- Calculating definite integrals
- Solving differential equations