Like other well-known programming languages like Java, C#, etc., MATLAB has its own Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and collection of libraries. Since it was initially known as the matrix programming language, MATLAB is an acronym for "Matrix Laboratory." It is a programming language of the fourth generation. It is a multi-paradigm, MATLAB. Therefore, it can be used with a variety of programming paradigms, including functional, Visual, and Object-Oriented.

Cleve Moler, the department head of computer science at the University of New Mexico at the time, made the initial discovery. He wanted to develop a different approach for his students to do linear algebra and numerical computations without needing to utilize Fortran. Cleve Molar, Steve Bangart, and Jack Little founded MathWorks in 1984 after seeing MATLAB's economic potential.

Let us now explore the uses of MATLAB.

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MATLAB Uses

The built-in functions of MATLAB offer top-notch resources for performing calculations, including optimization, linear algebra, numerical solution of ordinary differential equations (ODEs), data analysis, quadrate, signal processing, and many other scientific tasks.

Modern algorithms are used for the majority of these functions. There are many of these for both animations and 2-D and 3-D graphics. MATLAB also supports an external interface. 

The user can create their own functions in the MATLAB language. Thus they are not restricted to using only the built-in functions.

Additional toolboxes are provided by MATLAB. These toolboxes were created for common uses such as neural networks, symbolic computations, image processing, control system design, and statistics.

The various uses of MATLAB are:

  • Developing algorithms
  • Performing linear algebra that is linear
  • Graph plotting for larger data sets
  • Data visualization and analysis
  • Numerical Matrix Computation

Now that we have explored the uses of MATLAB, we will now be going through its various advantages.

Advantages Of MATLAB

The various advantages of MATLAB are:

  • MATLAB Compiler
  • Ease of Use
  • Device-Independent Plotting
  • Platform Independence
  • Graphical User Interface
  • Predefined Functions

We will now look at each of the advantages more closely and in a detailed format to understand them better.

MATLAB Compiler

By converting MATLAB applications into a p-code that is machine independent and then, at runtime, interpreting the p-code instruction, MATLAB is able to be flexible and independent of platforms. This approach is comparable to that of Microsoft's Visual Basic programming language. Unfortunately, because the MATLAB code, rather than being compiled, is interpreted, the resulting programs may run slowly.

There is a different MATLAB compiler available. With the help of this compiler, MATLAB programs can be turned into genuine executables that execute more quickly than interpreted code. It is a terrific method to turn a test MATLAB program into an executable that can be sold and provided to users.

Ease of Use

The program can be used to execute lengthy prewritten programs or as a scratchpad to evaluate command-line inputted phrases. Applications can be created, modified, and debugged with the MATLAB debugger and built-in integrated development environment. The language is ideal for quick prototyping of new apps because it is so simple to use.

To make the software user-friendly, many program development tools are supported. They include a workspace browser, an integrated editor/debugger, online documentation and manuals, and extensive demos.

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Device-Independent Plotting

The imaging and basic plotting instructions in MATLAB are numerous. Any kind of graphical output device offered by the machine running MATLAB can display the plots and images. This feature elevates MATLAB to the level of a superior technical data visualization tool.

Platform Independence

Because MATLAB runs on a variety of computers, it offers a high degree of platform freedom. Linux, various UNIX versions, Macintosh, Windows 2000/XP/Vista, and other operating systems all support the language. Applications created on any platform will function fully on any other platform, and data files created for any platform can ostensibly be read on any other platform. As a result, when the demands of the user change, programs created in MATLAB can switch to new platforms.

Graphical User Interface

A program's Graphical User Interface (GUI) can be created interactively by a programmer using a tool found in MATLAB. With this capacity, a programmer can create sophisticated data-analysis algorithms that relatively inexperienced people can utilize.

Predefined Functions

A sizable predefined functions library included with MATLAB offers tried-and-true answers to many common technical problems. Assume, for instance, that we are creating software that must assess the statistics related to a collection of input data. To perform computations like the median, standard deviation, arithmetic means, and other calculations, we would typically need to develop our own subroutines or functions in the majority of languages. Your job will be considerably more comfortable thanks to the hundreds of different services that are already included in the MATLAB programming language.

Since we have explored the various advantages of MATLAB, we will now dive into the various disadvantages of MATLAB.

Disadvantages of MATLAB

The disadvantages of MATLAB are summarized below:

  • Cost
  • Interpreted language

Let us look at each of these in a little more detail.

Cost

Five to ten times as expensive as a typical FORTRAN compiler or C is a full copy of MATLAB. MATLAB is cost-effective for organizations since this relatively high cost is more than offset by the shortened time an engineer or scientist must spend developing functional software. However, the cost prevents most people from even considering buying it. Fortunately, MATLAB also offers a low-cost Student Edition, which is a fantastic resource for students who want to learn it. MATLAB's Student Edition and Full Edition are nearly identical.

Interpreted Language

The fact that it is an interpreted language and hence might run more slowly than a compiled language is its first drawback. The MATLAB program can be correctly structured to check for this issue.

We will now be looking at some MATLAB requirements.

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MATLAB Requirements

Each piece of computer software, including MATLAB, is run on an operating system. The operating system and other parts are essential to a computer system's efficient operation.

Here, we provide all of the prerequisites for different types of operating systems that must be met before downloading and installing MATLAB.

Mac 64-bit

Operating Systems

RAM

Disk space

Graphics

Processors

  • macOS Mojave (10.14)

  • macOS High Sierra (10.13)

  • macOS Sierra (10.12)
  • Minimum-4 GB

  • 8GB Recommended
  • Minimum-3.3 GB of HDD only for MATLAB

  • SSD Recommended
  • No particular graphics card is necessary.

  • A hardwareaccelerated graphics card with 1GB of GPU memory and OpenGL 3.3 compatibility is advised.
  • Minimum-any x86-64 CPU from Intel or AMD

  • Support for the AVX2 instruction set is advised and processor with 4 logical cores.

Linux 64-bit

Operating Systems

RAM

Disk space

Graphics

Processors

  • Ubuntu 18.10
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  • Debian 9
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 (min. 7.3) 
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (min. 6.7) 
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12 (min. SP2)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 (min. SP2)
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
  • Minimum-4 GB
  • 8GB Recommended
  • Minimum 3.1 GB of HDD is required for MATLAB

  • SSD is advised.
  • Hardware-accelerated graphics card with 1GB of GPU memory and support for OpenGL 3.3 is advised.
  • No particular graphics card is necessary.



  • Minimum-any x86-64 CPU from Intel or AMD.

  • Support for the AVX2 instruction set and processor with 4 logical cores is advised.

Windows 64-bit

Operating Systems

RAM

Disk space

Graphics

Processors

  • Windows 10

  • Windows 7 Service Pack1

  • Windows Server 2019

  • Windows Server 2016
  • Minimum-4 GB

  • 8 GB Recommended
  • Minimum 2.9 GB of HDD is required for MATLAB

  • SSD Recommended
  • Hardware-accelerated graphics card with 1GB of GPU memory and support for OpenGL 3.3 is advised.

  • No particular graphics card is necessary.


  • Support for the AVX2 instruction set is advised, and a processor with 4 logical cores.

  • Minimum any x86-64 CPU from Intel or AMD


We have gone through all the requirements for MATLAB, and we will now look at how to download and install MATLAB.

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MATLAB Downloading And Installation

Downloading MATLAB

Different MATLAB environments are available. For instance, it is offered separately for schools, start-ups, enterprises, and individual use, and all of them are paid resources. Different flavors refer to different software for different purposes. However, we may test it out for 30 days without paying a dime to MathWorks.

To get started downloading, follow the given steps:

Step 1:

To download MATLAB, go to the official website at www.mathworks.com; you may be redirected to a website in your country or another language, or you may be asked to click based on where you are located.

Step 2:

Click on the Trial Software link in the Try or Buy part of the web page's footer at the bottom.

MATLAB_1.

Step 3:

After clicking on the link for the trial software, a new web page loads. In the box provided, type your email address.

Step 4:

After selecting continue, you are prompted for more details to help MathWorks create your account and grant you access to their products. Along with asking for the location and the email address you previously provided, it also asks what you plan to use the MATLAB software for; choose either personal use or hobbyist use, and then click Create.

MATLAB_2.

Step 5:

Once more, a new page will open; select the option to continue using your current email to do so. Open the email from MathWorks that has just arrived in your email inbox. Click the button labeled "Verify your email" to do so now.

Step 6:

You need to fill out all the information about yourself, agree to the terms, then click the Create button on a new webpage after being forwarded there.

Step 7:

Your confirmed email address will be displayed on the new page when it loads. Below it, there is an I agree on the button; click it to confirm, then press the submit button. Now that we have registered with MathWorks.

Step 8:

Select one of the numerous types of possibilities for add-ons, and click on continue.

MATLAB_3

A choice will appear on the following page. Each of these is an option. You can proceed either by choosing one of these alternatives or not.

Step 9:

Your email address and license number are displayed on a new page; make a note of this information.

MATLAB_4

It will first download the MATLAB installer, and the installer will then set up the MATLAB environment's requirements. We'll use the Windows (64-bit) choice in this case, but you can choose your operating system instead.

As a result, when we click on the Windows link, a pop-up window will appear on the screen. A binary executable file will begin downloading after selecting the Save File option.

There will be an icon labeled "Downloading of MATLAB" in the folder where all of your downloaded files are kept when you open the Downloads folder on your computer. This icon represents the binary executable file for the installer.

After successfully downloading MATLAB, let us now look at how to install it.

MATLAB Installation

Step 1

Select the MATLAB icon twice. When the installer is asked to start in a pop-up after you click the icon, select Run. On the screen, a MathWorks Installer window will appear.

MATLAB_5

  • Since the first choice, Log in with a MathWorks Account, is now selected by default, we'll use it. Additionally, make sure the MATLAB environment is properly installed by checking your internet connection. Therefore, select Next from the window's bottom menu.
  • Click the Next button once again after selecting yes to accept the licensing conditions on the following screen.
  • When a new page loads, the first choice, Log in to your MathWorks Account, is automatically chosen. Enter your email address and password from the MathWorks account creation process here. Click next while keeping the image below in mind.

MATLAB_6

Step 2

A license ID that has already been chosen will be highlighted with a blue backdrop in the licensing selection box that will open. Here, you must choose your license id—this is the id that was stored during STEP 9 of the installer's download (we advised you to write it down at that time)—and then click Next once more.

MATLAB_7

There is no requirement for change in the folder location for the installation of MATLAB; simply click Next in the newly appearing Folder Selection window.

MATLAB_8

Step 3

The Product Selection window is the next. Since MATLAB 9.6 is the MATLAB environment, it must be selected. From the other products, you can select as many as you'd like before clicking Next.

MATLAB_9

  • The Installation Selections window will then appear; choose your preferred options there. You can always click the Back button to return to the previous step whenever you feel like changing something.
  • The Confirmation window will appear after that. Here, all you need to do is confirm the items you'll be downloading as part of the MATLAB installation and its add-on packages, along with their sizes, and then click Install.
  • All of the products' downloads will begin after you click Install. Because the download is so large, you must wait until it is finished.

Step 4

A message stating that the MATLAB needs to be activated displays once all items have been downloaded and the installation is complete. Now, simply click the Next button.

MATLAB_10.

  • A new window explaining the activation meaning opens after selecting Next. Press Next to continue.
  • Once more, a new window displaying your email address and the license ID for your items to open. Click the Confirm button to continue.
  • Congratulations! You've successfully installed MATLAB and all of its related products after completing the installation process. Click the Finish button now.

Step 5

In accordance with our selections made throughout the installation procedure, a shortcut for MATLAB will be generated on the desktop. By selecting the MATLAB Downloading icon that has been placed on the desktop, we can now work with MATLAB.

We will now explore the MATLAB environment.

MATLAB Environment (Introduction to the Workspace)

In accordance with our selections made throughout the installation procedure, a MATLAB shortcut will be generated on the desktop. By selecting the MATLAB Downloading icon that has been placed on the desktop, we can now work with MATLAB.

The top three window kinds are as follows:

  • Command Windows: a platform for entering commands.
  • Edit Windows: With this, MATLAB programs can be written and modified by the user.
  • Figure Windows: Plot and graph displays can be found.

Let us look at each of these in detail now.

Command Window

The main window is this one. The MATLAB command prompt (>>) identifies it. You are presented with this window by MATLAB when you start the function program. You enter all MATLAB instructions, including those for running user-written programs, in this window. This window in MATLAB is a section of the program that also includes other, smaller windows or panes.

Here is a picture of the screen you see when you first launch MATLAB:

MATLAB_11

Editor Window

Our programs are written, edited, created, and saved in these M-file files. Any text editor will work to complete these tasks. The built-in editor of MATLAB is supported. But, we can use our editor by using the typical system commands for editing files. The command is entered at the prompt for MATLAB from within MATLAB, making sure to include the exclamation point (!). Exclamation characters cause MATLAB to temporarily transfer control back to the operating system that is local, which then executes the commands necessary to generate the character. After editing is finished, the control is transferred back to MATLAB.

Figure Window

The figure window or graphics, a distinct gray window with a (by default) white backdrop color, receives the output of every graphics command we copied in the command window. If there is enough system memory, the client can construct an unlimited number of figure windows.

FAQs

1. What is MATLAB used for?

Engineers and scientists can use the programming environment MATLAB® to analyze, create, and test systems and technologies that will change the world. The MATLAB language is a matrix-based language that enables the most natural expression of computer mathematics and is the core of MATLAB.

2. Is MATLAB coding?

For engineers and scientists, MATLAB is a high-level programming language that directly implements matrix and array mathematics. Everything can be done using MATLAB, from executing basic interactive commands to creating complex programs.

3. What language is used in MATLAB?

The MATLAB programming language serves as the foundation of the MATLAB application.

4. Is MATLAB the same as C ++?

While C++ is compiled, MATLAB is a scripting language. Using the compiler provided by MATLAB will only increase your speed by a factor of 1.5 to 2. MATLAB employs a JIT compiler to convert your script to machine code.

5. What are the basics of MATLAB?

The basics of MATLAB include the following:

  • Using the MATLAB graphical user interface
  • command input and variable creation
  • Analyzing matrices and vectors
  • displaying data from matrices and vectors
  • Utilizing data files
  • Using different data types
  • Utilizing scripts to automate commands
  • Creating programs with loops and branching
  • Writing performs

6. Is MATLAB a tool or language?

MATLAB is the one of the most preferred tools for highly productive research, analysis, and development. MATLAB's toolboxes are application-specific solutions. 

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Master MATLAB With Simplilearn

In this article, we learned about MATLAB, its use cases, advantages, and disadvantages. We further learned about how to go about downloading it and installing it as well as being introduced to the MATLAB environment. 

To learn more about MATLAB and pave your way towards the career of a senior data scientist, do check out Simplilearn’s Senior Data Scientist Masters Program Training.

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