**Book Name:**MATLAB For Dummies**Author:**Jim Sizemore and John Paul Mueller**Pages:**436**Size:**21 MB

# MATLAB For Dummies by Jim Sizemore

MATLAB is an amazing product that helps you perform math-related tasks of all sorts using the same techniques that you’d use if you were performing the task manually (using pencil and paper, slide rule, or abacus if necessary, but more commonly using a calculator). However, MATLAB makes it possible to perform these tasks at a speed that only a computer can provide. In addition, using MATLAB reduces errors, streamlines many tasks, and makes you more efficient. However, MATLAB is also a big product that has a large number of tools and a significant number of features that you might never have used in the past. For example, instead of simply working with numbers, you now have the ability to plot them in a variety of ways that help you better communicate the significance of your data to other people. In order to get the most from MATLAB, you really need a book like MATLAB For Dummies.

**About This Book**

The main purpose of MATLAB For Dummies is to reduce the learning curve that is a natural part of using a product that offers as much as MATLAB does. When you first start MATLAB, you might become instantly overwhelmed by everything you see. This book helps you get past that stage and become productive quickly so that you can get back to performing amazing feats of math wizardry.

In addition, this book is designed to introduce you to techniques that you might not know about or even consider because you haven’t been exposed to them before. For example, MATLAB provides a rich plotting environment that not only helps you communicate better, but also makes it possible to present numeric information in a manner that helps others see your perspective. Using scripts and functions will also reduce the work you do even further and this book shows you how to create custom code that you can use to customize the environment to meet your specific needs.

After you’ve successfully installed MATLAB on whatever computer platform you’re using, you start with the basics and work your way up. By the time you finish working through the examples in this book, you’ll be able to perform a range of simple tasks in MATLAB that includes writing scripts, writing functions, creating plots, and performing advanced equation solving. No, you won’t be an expert, but you will be able to use MATLAB to meet specific needs in the job environment.

To make absorbing the concepts even easier, this book uses the following conventions:

✓ Text that you’re meant to type just as it appears in the book is bold. The exception is when you’re working through a step list: Because each step is bold, the text to type is not bold.

✓ When you see words in italics as part of a typing sequence, you need to replace that value with something that works for you. For example, if you see “Type Your Name and press Enter,” you need to replace Your Name with your actual name.

✓ Web addresses and programming code appear in monofont. If you’re reading a digital version of this book on a device connected to the Internet, note that you can click the web address to visit that website, like this: http://www.dummies.com.

✓ When you need to type command sequences, you see them separated by a special arrow like this: File➪New File. In this case, you go to the File menu first and then select the New File entry on that menu. The result is that you see a new file created.

**Foolish Assumptions**

You might find it difficult to believe that we’ve assumed anything about you — after all, we haven’t even met you yet! Although most assumptions are indeed foolish, we made these assumptions to provide a starting point for the book. It’s important that you’re familiar with the platform you want to use because the book doesn’t provide any guidance in this regard. (Chapter 2 does provide MATLAB installation instructions.) To provide you with maximum information about MATLAB, this book doesn’t discuss any platform-specific issues. You really do need to know how to install applications, use applications, and generally work with your chosen platform before you begin working with this book.

This book isn’t a math primer. Yes, you see lots of examples of complex math, but the emphasis is on helping you use MATLAB to perform math tasks rather than learn math theory. Chapter 1 provides you with a better understanding of precisely what you need to know from a math perspective in order to use this book successfully.

This book also assumes that you can access items on the Internet. Sprinkled throughout are numerous references to online material that will enhance your learning experience. However, these added sources are useful only if you actually find and use them.

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