Helpful Information For Using MATLAB

The information presented in these pages generally applies to version 5.x of MATLAB though most of the basics have not changed since version 3.5. The discussion does assume you know how to use and read the on-line help facilities in MATLAB (help, helpdesk and helpwin) and are familiar with how MATLAB handles things like vectors and arrays.

Note: I have tried to bring these pages up to date to version 7 since there has been much development in MATLAB syntax since version 5 (particularly in the way functions can be treated). If you should find "broken" code or code that could just be improved, please let me know and I will update the material so that it works.

Links and resources

These pages were originally written in support of ENGR211, an introductory programming course for chemical engineers at Bucknell University. The course is based on MATLAB and covers topics such as scientific plotting/visualization, procedural programming and simple numerical methods. These pages are not meant as a tutorial on programming in MATLAB (though there are a number of examples). Rather, they aim to pull together information that should be helpful in getting past problems that you might encounter when you begin (or continue!) to program in MATLAB. You do not have to be a student in the course to use these pages.

If you have suggestions for improvements, sources for more information or some useful additions, please send them along. I would be glad to include them.

These pages are works in progress and are maintained by Jim Maneval (, Department of Chemical Engineering, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837. Email me if you would like a copy of these files in compressed format (.zip, .sit and .tar.Z) and let me know if they are either used or useful.

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