The system contains a large collection of functions for performing
numerical calculations (solving linear and nonlinear systems of
curve and surface fitting and plotting, quadrature, differential
etc.) as well as functions for 2-D and 3-D graphics and for building graphical
user interfaces. Some of these functions are internal
(precompiled); while others
exist as Matlab M-files (source programs written in the
language, which are interpreted at time of execution).
Matlab can be run on any
Linux, UNIX, or Windows workstation/PC in our building on which it is
and configured. Look for a Desktop icon/shortcut or in the
"applications" tree. On Linux and UNIX machines, the execution
should be located in the subdirectory /local/bin/. On
Windows machines, try C:\Program
Files\MATLAB\. If Matlab does not appear to be installed
(or needs to be upgraded) on your machine, you can
submit a request to systems.
Matlab is also available to be run on any public-access host on the Math and CS networks through a 12-user floating network license. In addition to the most recent release, Matlab 7.7 (R2008b), 7 legacy versions are available at present:
|6.5 (R13 SP1)
|7.1 (R14 SP3)
Due to operating-system restrictions, not all versions
run on all servers---in particular, as of release R2006a, Matlab no
longer supports HP UNIX workstations. On each machine, the
highest supported version is set as the default.
The most recent version, Matlab 7.7 (R2008b), is also the version on
the Windows PCs in labs 156 and 158. Network servers can be
accessed by using the Cygwin X-terminal application on the Windows PCs
in labs 139, 160, and 162. Servers include
To access one of these servers via Cygwin, first double click on the
"X" icon on the Windows desktop. This should launch an X desktop
and a remote-server-selection box. Select the server of your
choice, and when prompted enter your valid user ID and password.
Note that Math accounts are valid on math.kent.edu machines; while
CS accounts are valid on machines with cs.kent.edu names.
Upon successfully logging in, a Linux or UNIX desktop will be displayed. You need to open a terminal/console window in order to launch Matlab. On Linux machines, a terminal window can be opened from the Main Menu (extreme left button of the lower panel) under "System Tools / Terminal". To open a terminal window on an HP machine, punch the terminal icon on the lower panel.
$ matlab -nodesktopwhich disables the desktop but still starts up the JAVA virtual machine (including the edit/debug and help-browser tools), or
$ matlab -nojvmwhich disables both the desktop and JAVA support ("bare bones" version).
$ matlab -helpTo quit the program, type
>> exitor select "Exit MATLAB" from the File menu on the desktop/GUI versions.
If you wish to display graphics and are executing on a remote host
(via an ssh login),
then you may need to log in with "X forwarding" enabled, e.g.,
$ ssh -X excalibur.math.kent.eduIf everything is set up properly, then when Matlab is started up, you should see a small graphics window flashed up briefly on your screen. See Getting Help below if you have problems.
The older, legacy versions of Matlab (6.5, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5 and 7.6) can be run directly via
$ /vol/matlab2007b/bin/matlab$ /vol/matlab2008a/bin/matlab
Once you are finished with (and have exited) your Matlab session, you need to log out of the remote server. You can log off a Linux host by right clicking anywhere on the open desktop area and selecting the "logout" (last) option in the menu you get. On an HP machine, log out by simply punching the "EXIT" button on the lower panel.
Numerous examples of Matlab M-files (which end with the filename
".m") are available in the subdirectories under /vol/matlab/toolbox/
(for Linux/UNIX) or C:\Program
There are numerous on-line introductions and tutorials on Matlab.
These have been created by various individuals and are scattered about
on the web. Because of the transient nature of much of this type of
no attempt will be made to maintain any active/current links here.
we recommend that you consult the home page of The
MathWorks, Inc., the company that owns, distributes, and
the Matlab software, where up-to-date information can be
Help on an individual command or topic can be obtained by typing
Numerous books have been written about learning and using Matlab. An inexpensive pocket paperback that gives a very accessible introduction for new users (at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level) is
MATLAB Primer, 7th EditionAnother book to be recommended (hardback but not very expensive, emphasizing numerical methods) is
Timothy A. Davis and Kermit Sigmon
Chapman & Hall/CRC Press, 2005
Matlab Guide, 2nd Edition
Desmond J. Higham and Nicholas J. Higham
SIAM, Philadelphia 2005
The following paperback is affordable and fairly comprehensive in
It is written somewhat from an engineering perspective and gives a
good coverage of such topics as interfacing Matlab with programs
written and compiled
in other languages, such as C++, Fortran 90/95, and JAVA.
The MathWorks, Inc., the company that owns, distributes, and supports the Matlab software (and related products) has an excellent home page, which includes a great deal of useful information about other books and on-line information and resources related to Matlab, including Matlab News and Notes (a monthly news journal) and the Matlab News Digest (its electronic version). There is also a USENET News Group: comp.soft-sys.matlab.