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MATLAB (matrix laboratory)(Win/Mac/Linux) is a programming language for numerical computing, optimized for solving engineering and scientific problems. MATLAB is extremely popular in the academic community and is used for (quoting the MathWorks website) "machine learning, signal processing, image processing, computer vision, communications, computational finance, control design, robotics, and much more."

MATLAB has influenced other scientific computing environments like Scilab, Octave and Julia.


  • Matrix based programming language which greatly simplifies linear algebra.
  • Domain specific toolboxes that implement essential algorithms.
  • Built-in plotting and data visualization capabilities.
  • Tools for building applications with custom user interfaces.
  • Interfaces to C/C++, Java®, .NET, Python®, SQL, Hadoop®, and Microsoft® Excel®.
  • Tools for building applications with custom user interfaces
  • A convenient GUI that lets you see the workspace, edit variables, has a file browser and even a browser.


  • A basic knowledge of linear algebra, differential equations and probability will be required for almost any project that utilises MATLAB.

Installing MATLAB

Have a look at our Software Installation guide.


  • [Videos] MATLAB Workshop - Chinmay Rajhans - Two videos describing the basics of MATLAB and scientific computation using MATLAB. This workshop has been conducted in IIT Bombay in Autumn 2013, 2014 and 2015.
  • [Slides] MIT OCW Introduction to MATLAB - A very clear introduction to the basics like matrix operations, scripting, data visualization, solving equations, writing efficient MATLAB code and symbolic computing.
  • Northwestern University's collection of useful MATLAB links is here
  • MATLAB Wikibook
  • One can always refer to the documentation here.
  • For solving problems specific to a domain, take a look at Discover How to Solve Your Computational Problem
  • Example codes

'Alternatives' to MATLAB

See also