MATLAB is a powerful language for technical computing. The name MATLAB stands for MATrix LABoratory, because its basic data element is a matrix (array). MATLAB can be used for math computations, modeling and simulations, data analysis and processing, visualization and graphics, and algorithm development.
MATLAB is widely used in universities and colleges in introductory and advanced courses in mathematics, science, and especially in engineering. In industry the software is used in research, development and design. The standard MATLAB program has tools (functions) that can be used to solve common problems. In addition, MATLAB has optional toolboxes that are collections of specialized programs designed to solve specific types of problems. Examples include toolboxes for signal processing, symbolic calculations, and control systems.
Until recently, most of the users of MATLAB have been people who had previous knowledge of programming languages such as FORTRAN or C, and switched to MATLAB as the software became popular. Consequently, the majority of the literature that has been written about MATLAB assumes that the reader has knowledge of computer programming. Books about MATLAB often address advanced topics or applications that are specialized to a particular field. In the last few years, however, MATLAB is being introduced to college students as the first (and sometimes the only) computer program they learn. For these students there is a need for a book that teaches MATLAB assuming no prior experience in computer programming.
The Purpose of This Book
MATLAB: An Introduction with Applications is intended for students who are using MATLAB for the first time and have little or no experience in computer programming. It can be used as a textbook in freshmen engineering courses, or workshops where MATLAB is being taught. The book can also serve as a reference in more advanced science and engineering courses when MATLAB is used as a tool for solving problems. It also can be used for self study of MATLAB by students and practicing engineers. In addition, the book can be a supplement or a secondary book in courses where MATLAB is used, but the instructor does not have the time to cover it extensively.