Lecture 1
●
MEEN 357 Engineering Analysis for Mechanical Engineers
1
Lecture-01-MEEN357-2009.doc
RMB
Lecture 1
Introduction to MATLAB
1,2
Chapter 2 of the textbook.
MATLAB is a high-performance language for technical computing. It allows
scientists and engineers to use matrix-based
techniques to solve problems without having
to write in more cumbersome language such as C and FORTRAN. It integrates
computation, visualization, and programming in an easy-to-use environment where
problems and solutions are expressed in familiar mathematical notation. The MATLAB
programming language is intuitive and very straightforward to use since almost every
data object is assumed to be an array that does not require dimensioning. This allows one
to solve many technical computing problems, especially those with matrix and vector
formulations, in a fraction of the time it would take to write a program in a scalar non-
interactive language such as C or Fortran.
The MATLAB System has the following components:
1.
Development Environment
, which contains the tools that enable users to develop
programs.
2.
Mathematical Function Library
, which contains algorithms to handle some simple
complex mathematical operations.
3.
MATLAB Language
, which is a highly flexible programming language, offering
object-oriented programming features.
4.
Graphics
, which can be used to plot graphs and data visualization in two and
three dimensional space.
5.
Application Programming Interface
, which enables MATLAB to work with
programs written in other programming languages.
Starting MATLAB
Start MATLAB by double-clicking the MATLAB shortcut icon
on the
Windows desktop.
MATLAB Desktop
When you start MATLAB, the MATLAB desktop (Development Environment)
appears, containing tools (graphical user interfaces) for managing files, variables, and
applications associated with MATLAB. You can modify the desktop configuration to
best meet your needs. The different tools are described below along with their
functionalities:
1
The INTRODUCTION TO MATLAB notes were prepared by Dr. Waqar Malik for use in MEEN 357.
2
The MATLAB website contains excellent tutorials for students trying to learn MATLAB.
The link is
http://www.mathworks.com/academia/student_center/tutorials/launchpad.html
.
A Google search on the
word MATLAB will produce an enormous collection of other resources that can be used to learn this
program.

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