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Matlab is a very important and useful tool that will help you learn and understand important concepts and techniques in many different courses in engineering, mathematics, and science. There are many useful toolboxes that may be purchased that have special functions designed and developed for a specific area.

A student edition of Matlab may be purchased at a significantly discounted price for home use.

If you do not want to purchase Matlab, Octave is a nice Open Source alternative. Instructions on how to download and install Octave may be found on the Octave Page for this course. You may find a number of threads that compare Octave with Matlab, and the general comments are that Matlab is much faster than Octave, and the Matlab plotting features are superior to Octave because they are native whereas Octave uses GNUPlot. However, in most courses and projects, Octave shoud be an acceptable alternative to Matlab.

There are many excellent books and tutorials that have been written to help get started with Matlab or to learn more advanced programming techniques. A few of these tutorials are listed below.

Matlab Tutorials

  1. Getting Started with Matlab (by Edward Neuman, Southern Illinois University).
  2. Using Matlab in Linear Algebra (by Edward Neuman, Southern Illinois University).