Math 426 - Introduction to Mathematical Software Packages: Matlab

Winter 2001 - Matthias K. Gobbert

Section 9101 - Schedule Number 0041

This page can be reached via my homepage at

Grading Information

Scores and grades ordered by the last four digits of your student number: scores and grades.

It appears that most of you enjoyed the final project quite a bit. I was generally impressed with the presentations, though not all conclusions were correct. I will put my results on my Matlab webpage as soon as I have time, you may want to check back there.

Information for Download

Instructions: Open the data file by clicking on the link; columns of numbers should appear in your browser window. Then use the ``File - Save As'' functionality of your browser to save the data to a file. Or use the right mouse button to directly save the file without opening it first. The details may vary depending on your browser software and operating system. Contact me if there is a persisting problem.

Basic Information


Matlab is a professional software package designed to implement mathematical ideas on a high level. It is widely used in industrial companies, government agencies, and educational institutions for rapid prototyping and teaching. Its main popularity roots in its intuitive interactive interface combined with reliable numerical algorithms and professional graphics capabilities.

This class is designed to provide a thorough introduction to programming and the use of high-level software packages using the example of Matlab. We will start by introducing basic data structures and programming elements. A brief introduction to the UNIX environment will be included here. Then we will work our way up to higher-level programming structures and discuss their use in mathematics and mathematical applications. This will include the use of important routines for finding polynomial roots, eigenvalues of matrices, and effective two- and three-dimensional graphics. Additionally, we will discuss selected features from the symbolic toolbox and the IEEE standard for floating-point numbers.

The class meetings will typically be divided into a lecture followed by supervised lab work. Active participation is vital to learning the material. Assignments will come in three flavors in this class:

  1. Problems will be assigned in the lab portion of the lecture to be completed immediately under supervision.
  2. Some review problems will be assigned each lecture, to be completed by the next lecture; this review always includes all quizzes posed in the textbook, whose solutions are given in the back of the text.
  3. More extensive problems will be assigned typically over a weekend, which must be turned in with complete documentation; see the general policies and procedures for more information.
To facilitate the classroom environment of a lab, you are expected to read the appropriate sections of the textbook before each lecture. All quizzes in the covered sections are automatically assigned and have to be turned in along with the homework. As the solutions are given in the back of the textbook, they do not carry any credit.

Other Information

Copyright © 2000-2001 by Matthias K. Gobbert. All Rights Reserved.
This page version 2.5, January 2001.