MATLAB : An Introduction for Graduate Students

MATLAB is an interactive data visualization and processing tool, and high-level programming language. It is similar in many ways to IDL (also used within ICAS) although they differ in detail.

This introductory course is intended to provide complete beginners with sufficient background to get started using MATLAB, and to demonstrate why you might want to use it at all.

The notes available here are very limited at the moment; I'll add more just as soon as I can. In the mean time you could do well to follow a well known saying amongst programmers...R.T.F.M.! The online manual provided with matlab is very, very good. The "Getting Started" section more or less covers everything in this course. Whenever you have a question about how to do something in matlab, the help system should be the first place you look.

Starting MATLAB

MATLAB is available on the network for the School of Earth & Environment. On windows systems it should be available from the 'All Programmes\Data analysis' menu (terminal server) or 'All Programmes\Earth Sciences Software' (other Schools may also have MATLAB installed under their software menu on ISS desktops). On the SEE linux systems use the command:

matlab &

to start matlab running (the '&' is required to detach the matlab session from the shell you started it from). The first time you run matlab you might need to run the following from the linux shell (or add it to your .cshrc file)

app setup matlab

To start the help/manual browser type:


and you're away...

Course Powerpoint Slides, exercises, data files etc

lecture 1 - Introduction, basics, variables, indexing, and simple plots - exercises
lecture 2 - basic plotting and graphics - exercises
lecture 3 - programming 1: scripts and functions - exercises
lecture 4 - programming 2: data import and export - exercises

Lots and lots of matlab functions relating to things meteorological can be found on the SEE-network under /home/lecimb/matlab - feel free to root around for anything you might find useful.

SEE MATLAB mailing list

I maintain a MATLAB mailing list for the School of Earth and Environment. This is intended as a self-help group - post questions to the list and other users within the school will (probably) respond with answers. Only members of the list may post to it - so when you sign up ensure that you use the email address that appears in the 'From' header from you email client. If you post from a different email address your posting will be delayed for approval by the list administrator.

Other sources of help: - user community on the MathWorks web site: forums and user supplied code archives.

Useful functions:

These are some useful functions that are not part of MATLAB itself:

wysiwyg.m - reformats current figure on screen to more closely match the size and layout of the printed figure.

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