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 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 with previous knowledge of programming languages such as FORTRAN and C who 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. Today, however, MATLAB is being introduced to college students as the first (and often the only) computer program they will learn. For these students there is a need for a book that teaches MATLAB assuming no prior ...

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