MATLAB: 10 Important Reasons Why MATLAB is Important for Every Engineer

MATLAB is an indispensable asset for scientists, researchers, and engineers. The richness of the MATLAB computational environment combined with an integrated development environment (IDE) and straightforward interface, toolkits, and simulation and modeling capabilities, creates a research and development tool that has no equal.

From quick code prototyping to full blown deployable applications, MATLAB stands as a de facto development language and environment serving the technical needs of a wide range of users. As a collection of diverse applications, each book chapter presents a novel application and use of MATLAB for a specific result.

1. ENGINEERING NEW SOLUTIONS: MATLAB

Many engineering disciplines rely on various kinds of math to ensure that the results of any design process or new theory of how the universe works actually make sense. A new building isn’t much use if it can’t hold up to the stresses placed on it.

2. GETTING AN EDUCATION

Mathworks places a strong emphasis on education. In fact, you can find a special place for education-related materials at MathWorks.com. Even if the organization that employs you doesn’t use MATLAB, the principles you learn by working through problems with MATLAB follow standards that apply equally well to other products.

If you’re a student and you need a copy of MATLAB, you can easily purchase it. Several versions of MATLAB are available for student use, so make sure that you pick the package that best suits your needs.

3. WORKING WITH LINEAR ALGEBRA In MATLAB

It may be hard to believe, but linear algebra really is part of the workplace. For example, to calculate Return on Investment (ROI), you must know algebra. The same holds true for the following:

  • Predicting the amount of turnover a company will have

  • Determining how many items to keep in inventory

  • Making life and business decisions, such as whether it’s cheaper to rent a car or to buy one outright

  • Creating a financial plan, such a determining whether it makes more sense to pay down a credit card or build up savings

4. PERFORMING NUMERICAL ANALYSIS

Numerical analysis relies on approximation rather than the precision you see in symbolic math. Performing certain building construction tasks is impossible without applying numerical analysis, and astronomy seems to require heavy use of it as well. You probably won’t see a carpenter applying numerical analysis, but you will see architects who might need to do so.

5. GETTING INVOLVED IN SCIENCE

MATLAB is likely to be used to explore new theories. When applied to science, MATLAB helps you perform “what if” analysis that helps you confirm the viability of a theory.

Of course, science is used in many different ways. For example, you might be involved in the health industry and using science to find a cure for cancer or the Ebola virus. A computer scientist might look for a new way to use computer technology to aid those with accessibility needs.

 

6. ENGAGING MATHEMATICS

Some people simply enjoy playing with math. It’s the reason that so many theorems are available today to solve problems. These people are engaged with math in a way that few others can readily understand. MATLAB makes it possible to play with math, to create new ways of using numbers to perform useful tasks.

7. EXPLORING RESEARCH WITH MATLAB

After a question is asked and an answer is given, a researcher must convince colleagues that the answer is correct and then viable to put into practice. MATLAB lets you check the answer and verify that it does, in fact, work as the researcher suggests. After an answer is proven, the researcher can use MATLAB further to define precisely how the answer is used.

8. WALKING THROUGH A SIMULATION

Using a simulation rather than a real-world counterpart is a low-cost approach to testing that is an essential part of any sort of scientific or engineering endeavor today, for these reasons:

  • Saves human lives

  • Saves time

  • Enhances the ability of the people involved to try various solutions

  • Reduces costs

  • Improves the chances of a new technology succeeding

  • Increases the security surrounding a new technology

MATLAB makes simulations possible in several different ways. It may not always provide a complete solution, but you can use it to perform these kinds of tasks:

  • Define the original math model used to define the technology and therefore the simulation

  • Create individual snapshots showing how the technology will work based on the model

  • Demonstrate the workflow for a technology using animation techniques so that even less-skilled stakeholders can see the technology at work

9. EMPLOYING IMAGE PROCESSING

Image processing is the act of managing the pixels in an image using math techniques to modify the matrix values. Techniques such as adding two matrices together are common when performing image processing.

10. EMBRACING PROGRAMMING USING COMPUTER SCIENCE

Computer scientists rely heavily on math to perform tasks. MATLAB, with its rich toolbox, can be used to rapidly prototype an algorithm before committing the development resources to implementing the algorithm in another language, such as C++ or Java. Programmers commonly depend on MATLAB to enhance their productivity.

When creating an application, you must ensure that the output is valid. However, verification is just one use. Computer scientists deal with a nearly inexhaustible supply of unknowns that could potentially benefit from the use of MATLAB.

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