Chapter 1. Starting with MATLAB

This chapter begins by describing the characteristics and purposes of the different windows in MATLAB. Next, the Command Window is introduced in detail. This chapter shows how to use MATLAB for arithmetic operations with scalars in a fashion similar to the way that a calculator is used. This includes the use of elementary math functions with scalars. The chapter then shows how to define scalar variables (the assignment operator) and how to use these variables in arithmetic calculations. The last section in the chapter introduces script files. It shows how to write, save, and execute simple MATLAB programs.

Starting MATLAB, MATLAB Windows

It is assumed that the software is installed on the computer, and that the user can start the program. Once the program starts, the MATLAB desktop window opens (Figure 1-1). The window contains four smaller windows: the Command Window, the Current Folder Window, the Workspace Window, and the Command History Window. This is the default view that shows four of the various windows of MATLAB. A list of several windows and their purpose is given in Table 1-1. The Start button on the lower left side can be used to access MATLAB tools and features.

Four of the windows—the Command Window, the Figure Window, the Editor Window, and the Help Window—are used extensively throughout the book and are briefly described on the following pages. More detailed descriptions are included in the chapters where they are used. The Command History ...

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