Intro to MATLAB Unit 1: VARIABLES AND TYPES
These windows are in your MATLAB environment:
- Command Window: type commands, run scripts, or evaluate functions
- Workspace: shows your current variables
- Command History
- Current Folder
- Script Editor: used to edit and run script files (Important: you must be in the directory of the script you wish to run)
All windows can be found under HOME -> ENVIRONMENT -> Layout.
MATLAB can be used as a claculator. A semicolon (;) supresses the output. Use % to write comments.
%Everythng after a % will be ignored. 9 / 2 %Versus: 9 / 2; %cf. graphing calculator computations 2 + 3 * 10 ^ 4 - 1 (((((2 + 3))))) * 10 ^ (4 - 1)
Use the equals sign to assign a numerical value to a variable name. The variable name must always be on the left. Values of variables can be changed at any time (hence their name 'variable').
x = 3 3 = x % <- this will lead to an ERROR %Observe the changes to x in the workspace window: x^2 + 3*x x = 5 x^2 + 3*x %Variables can also be used to define other variables, or even to redefine themselves: y = x / 3 x = 8*x + 5 %What would happen in the following? x = 12 y = 3*x - 9 * 2 z = 4*x + 3*y^2 - 10 %x = ?, y = ?, z = ?
Some variables are prediefined, e.g. pi, inf, i, NaN, ans.
%These can be redefined, but be careful when doing so: pi pi = 3; % NO error pi % <- this can be dangerous!
- must begin with a letter
- can contain letters, digits, _
- case sensitive
- no punctuation or spaces allowed
- cannot be a reserved keyword (such as 'if', 'return', 'end', ...)
if = 5 % <- this will lead to an ERROR %Note: the blue color indicates that 'if' is sth special!
- should not be the name of a function (built-in or otherwise)
Commonly used functions for math purposes are added for convenience.
%Examples: sqrt(81) % square root abs(-53.2) % absolute value log(1000) % natural log log10(1000) % log base 10 log2(1000) % log base 2 % What if I want to compute log with base 3? %Trigonometric functions (radians and degrees): sin(pi / 2) sind(90) % <- this should be the same as sin(pi / 2)!!! cos(pi / 2) %CAUTION: using a function as variable name can be dangerous: sin = 10 % that works (NO error) sin(pi / 2) % <- observe the different ERROR messages sin(3) % <- observe the different ERROR messages sin(1) % <- why does this work? which sin % what is going on with sin? % How do I get back my sin() function? clear sin which sin % check again % try again: sin(pi / 2), sin(1) % NOTE: a comma separates multiple commands
Use the MATLAB help to get help! MATLAB has an excellent documentation that is searchable! Access it via the questionmark symbol in the upper right corner of your workspace or type in doc in the command window. Functions can also be looked up in the MATLAB help section for more information.
help sin doc sin % opens the matlab help for this function (easier to read!)
You can save variables into .mat files and load them again.
save my_variables x y pi % filename and then list the variables clear % deletes all your variables clc % cleans your command window load my_variables
Scripts are used to create and save code in .m files. A script contains a list of matlab statements (commands, function calls, comments); e.g. VariablesAndTypes.m or example_script.m Evaluate all commands in a script by pressing the EDITOR -> Run button or by typing the following in the Command Window:
example_script run example_script.m
The DEFAULT data type in MATLAB is double (double-precision floating-point value). Other data types are logical (boolean) and char (character). A char is defined by quotes, e.g. 'c'
List of numeric data types:
- int8, int16, int32, int64
- uint8, uint16, uint32, uint64
x = 5 % x is a double y = logical(5) % y is a logical c = 'a' % c is a char % Find out the type/class of a variable class(c), class(x), class(y) isinteger(c), isfloat(c), isfloat(x) % Get an overview of all variables (and their types) whos
Lecture notes for CSE200 (Fall 2015) at Washington University in St. Louis by Marion Neumann (based on materials from Doug Shook).