Programming with MATLAB

The best way to learn how to program is to do something useful, so this introduction to MATLAB is built around a common scientific task: data analysis. Our real goal isn’t to teach you MATLAB, but to teach you the basic concepts that all programming depends on. We use MATLAB in our lessons because:

  1. we have to use something for examples;
  2. it’s well-documented;
  3. it has a large (and growing) user base among scientists in academia and industry; and
  4. it has a large library of packages available for performing diverse tasks.

But the two most important things are to use whatever language your colleagues are using, so that you can share your work with them easily, and to use that language well.

GNU Octave

GNU Octave is a free and open-source alternative to MATLAB which shares its syntax (see more about compatibility). Thus, if you don’t have access to MATLAB, you can easily set up Octave on your computer and still work through the lesson.


To begin tackling this lesson, you will need to:


Setup Dowload files used on the lesson.
00:00 1. Analyzing Patient Data How can I process and visualize my data?
00:30 2. Writing MATLAB Scripts How can I save and re-use my programs?
01:00 3. Repeating With Loops How can I repeat the same operations on multiple values?
01:30 4. Making Choices How can programs do different things for different data values?
02:00 5. Creating Functions How can I teach MATLAB how to do new things?
02:30 6. Defensive Programming How can I make sure my programs are correct?
03:00 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.