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What is "MATLAB"?

2006-08-09 18:07:57, Category: Programming & Design
Is it a software programme? Or is it a programming language? I an an Electrical Engineer currently pursuing a MAster's in EE. I have have a choice of using MATLAB, EXCEL, C++ or FORTRAN 90 in my programming assignments. Which would you recommend, and why? Do you know what most Electrical Engineers are using?


  1. bryanchen

    On 2006-08-09 18:14:16

    MATLAB is an engineering environment that can do a whole myriad of complex calculations. It can help you plot graphs, process signals and can even help with sampling a signal. According to Wikipedia, MATLABî is a numerical computing environment and programming language. Created by The MathWorks, MATLAB allows easy matrix manipulation, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs in other languages. Although it specializes in numerical computing, an optional toolbox interfaces with the Maple symbolic engine, making it a full computer algebra system. Personally, I have used it when I was studying for my Electrical & Computer Control Engineering degree, and have found it to be extremely useful! You have to learn its syntax, but that's easy because you can just refer to the program's help to find out more. I would definitely recommend this ahead of Excel and Fortran 90, as these are rather primitive and arcane methods for engineering purposes. C++ might provide added flexibility, but it cannot beat the power and the built-in functions of MATLAB. Hope it helps! And good luck with your masters!! MATLAB is a program, btw, that implements its own programming language.
  2. Kaiser Wilhelm

    On 2006-08-09 18:14:01

    MatLab is actually a software which is also command-based which means that you can write nice little programs in it and produce pretty pictures and graphs. It is actually a very sophisticated program and has a loooooooooot of nice nifty features. Out of all of these, I say go for MatLab and yes I do know plenty of EE who use eat, drink, breathe, and live MatLab. It is very handy for such professions. The only thing is you might have to buy it...unless you can find a copy for free...or your educational institution might have some sort of a license which will let you have a copy for cheap. Here it is. Check them out. http://www.mathworks.com/products/matlab/
  3. ghakh

    On 2006-08-12 15:22:58

    Matlab is a software (i very surprised that u r getting master in EE and don't know what these things are, all above things all a prereq for masters at my school). anyway for you i would recommend matlab since it has all the capabilities that you will ever need and easy to learn, it has actually a feature in which it can translate C++ and fortran to its own code, also it is very easy to use other libarraries from different softwares for Matlab. excel has nice statistical features but not for you, C++ is programming language used widly in professional environment takes a while to master but definitly woth it for you to learn it. fortran 90 which i teach is mostly for the research aspects of EE. it is easy language and the fastest. still there are a lot of codes in fortran for EE but mostly are in C++. hope this helps
  4. jimbobarino

    On 2006-08-09 18:21:42

    Matlab is software. C++ and Fortran are languages and excel is microsoft spreadsheet. Easiest to use is excel, then Matlab. Both will require a data aquisition card in the PC. Unless you really want to pick up programming at a high level, I'd go with Matlab. Data can be transferred between platforms as ASCII files. Depends on the assignments. Matlab is industry standard and there is plenty of user groups/tutorials and help online. Good luck with it.