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# The Very Basics of MATLAB

MAM1043H

What is MATLAB?
MATrix LABoratory
MATLAB is a numerical computing
environment (Google)
Useful for numerical scientific and
engineering calculations
MANY useful toolboxes available for a
wide variety of applications.

## Why do I need it?

Very few real world problems can be
solved analytically!
Have to resort to computational methods
to solve problems.
MATLAB is a powerful environment for
solving such problems.

## The MATLAB Desktop

Workspace
For keeping track of
variables

Command Window
For entering commands

So what do I do???
MATLAB behaves like a really cool calculator!
(That can be programmed to perform complex
calculations)
Simply enter commands in the command window.
Try:
>>5*3
>>sin(pi/2)

Statements
A statement is some instruction for the
computer to perform some task.
Example:
>>a=2

## Tells the MATLAB to create a new

variable a and assign it a value of 2.
Key Idea:
= means to assign a value obtained on the RHS
to the variable on the LHS

Statements
Can then modify a variable:
>>a=a*3

## Tells MATLAB to take the value of what

was in the variable a, multiply it by 3, and
then assign the result to a again.

Key Idea:
Variables will keep their value until some instruction
is given to change it.

## clc Clears the command window

clear Clears variables from the workspace
close all Closes all figure windows
who Lists all the variables in the workspace

## Basic Math Operators

Addition: >>a=2+3
Subtraction: >>a=2-3
Multiplication: >>a=2*3
Division: >>a=2/3
Powers: >>a=2^3

Variables
Rules for variable names:
Consist of letters (a..z), numbers (0..9) and
underscore ( _ )
Must start with a letter (a..z)
Variables are case sensitive, so velocity and
Velocity are different variables!

## Ok: a, a2, a_2

NOT Ok: a 2, 2a, a#

Types of Variables
Scalars:
>>a=2

Vectors:
>>v=[1 2 3]

Matrices:
>>A=[1 2 3; 4 5 6; 7 8 9]
Key Idea:
All variables in MATLAB are matrices!!

Operations on Vectors
For the vector:
>>v=[1 2 3]

## try the following operations:

Addition: >>v=v+3
Subtraction: >>v=v-1
Multiplication: >>v=v*4
Division: >>v=v/2
Powers: >>v=v^2

Operations on Vectors
The power operation gives an error! Why??
Does this make sense?
>>[1 2 3]^2
which means
>>[1 2 3]*[1 2 3]
How do we multiply vectors together? Is there a
unique way of doing this?...
The answer is NO!!

Array Operators
Performs operation on each component in
two vectors (must be the same size!):
>>[1 2 3].*[1 2 3]
>>[2 8 27]./[1 2 3]
>>[1 2 3].^2

Constructing Arrays
Use the colon : operator:
>>x=1:10

## same as x=[1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10]

If want smaller increments, use
>>x=1:0.5:4

## same as x=[1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4]

Built in functions
MATLAB has many built in functions, for
example:
Trigonometric (sin(),cos(), etc)
Exponentials, logs (log(),exp())
Roots (sqrt())
Plotting (plot(),surf(), etc)
Vector product (dot(), cross() )

plus more
And you can create your own!! (Later.)

Plotting Graphs
Must create vectors to plot:
>>x=0:pi/10:2*pi;
>>y=sin(x);

>>plot(x,y);

## Playing with the Graph

Add a grid: >>grid on;
Add a title: >>title(My Sine Graph);
Add labels: >>xlabel(\theta);
>>xlabel(sin(\theta));

Colours, etc:

>>plot(x,y,r);
>> plot(x,y,rx);

## An exercise in dropping a ball

Know: x=x0 + v0t + a t2
Plot for t from 0 to 5 sec
Dropped from height of 100m.

Still to come
Creating our own functions.
How can we solve linear system of
equations?
Making decisions and repeating steps.

## What if I get stuck?

Dont just keep trying the same thing.
Read a textbook(s).
Use the MATLAB help.
Ask somebody else.
But most importantly
Dont give up!
EVERYBODY makes mistakes and
struggles when programming.