Your
selfpaced MATLAB training...
What is MATLAB?

The
word MATLAB stands for MATrixLABoratory. This
site is where you're going to start your selfpaced MATLAB training!
This
virtual lab is a program for highperformance numerical operations and
visualization. It provides an interactive environment with a lot of
builtin commands and functions for numerical analysis and graphics,
and also provides easy 
extensibility with its own highlevel
programming language.
There are numerous prepared commands for
2D
and 3D graphics
as well as for animation. The user is not limited to
the builtin functions; he can write his own functions in MATLAB
language. Once written, these functions work just like the internal
functions. MATLAB's language is designed to be easy to learn and use.
The
many builtin functions provide excellent tools for linear algebra,
signal processing, data analysis, optimization, solution of ordinary
differential equations (ODEs), and many other types of scientific
operations.
There are also several optional 'toolboxes'
available which are collections of functions written for special
applications such as 'Image
Processing', 'Statistics', 'Neural
Networks', etc.
The basic building block in MATLAB is the matrix.
The fundamental data type is the array.
Vectors, scalars, real and
complex matrices are all automatically handled as special cases of
basic arrays. The builtin functions are optimized for vector
operations. Thus, vectorized commands or codes run much
faster in
MATLAB (vectorization
is a way of computing in which an operation is
performed simultaneously on a list of numbers rather than sequentially
on each member of the list).
A nice thing to realize is that
MATLAB is primarily a numerical computation package, although with the
'Symbolic'
Toolbox it can do also symbolic algebra. Mathematica, Maple,
and Macsyma are primarily symbolic algebra packages. MATLAB's ease of
use is its best feature since you can have more learning with less
effort, while the computer algebra systems have a steeper learning
curve.
In mathematical computations, especially those
that
utilize vectors and matrices, MATLAB is better in terms of ease of use,
availability of builtin functions, ease of programming, and speed.
MATLAB's popularity today has forced such packages as Macsyma and
Mathematica to provide extensions for files in MATLAB's format.
We
encourage the
use of the online help. Typing 'help function' in
MATLAB, with the appropriate function or command name, provides
detailed help for any of the functions or commands available.
We
discourage a
passive working through this site. The best way to learn
any computer software is to try it out. We believe this and encourage
you to do it.
From
'MATLAB training' to home
From
'Matlab training' to 'Matlab Help Menu'
