What is MATLAB?


Quick Answer

MATLAB is an interactive computing framework and programming language developed by MathWorks. Initially intended for matrix manipulation, it has expanded to cover applications in the fields of economics, engineering and science. MATLAB also offers tools for numeric computation, data analysis and algorithm development.

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Full Answer

MATLAB features technical calculations without the time-consuming process required by other programming languages. It has several methods to analyze data and represent it in 2-D and 3-D models. Among many functions, MATLAB is capable of interpolation and regression, Fourier analysis and obtaining sparse matrices.

MATLAB also interfaces with other languages and software to acquire data. Users can import data from sources such as Microsoft Excel workbooks and multimedia files. MATLAB can also communicate directly with hardware devices to gather data.

As a high-level programming language, MATLAB has tools for developing algorithms and applications. For instance, its command window acts as both an input and output interface for data. An editor is available for debugging and modifying lines of code. In addition, MATLAB has a code analyzer and profiler for software optimization.

Several types of users benefit from MATLAB because of its versatility. University professors use it to teach students about fundamental and advanced mathematics and science. Scientists in several industries use it for research and development. Add-on products for statistics and signal analysis are also available for MATLAB to improve its capabilities.

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