MATLAB For Students

Introduction to MATLAB - for Engineering Students

The Department of Electrical Engineering has prepared this brief introduction to MATLAB. More information regarding MATLAB, including tips and tricks is available on the EE website.

What is MATLAB?

MATLAB is computer programming language developed by Mathworks for scientific computing. It was designed to facilitate numerical computation without having to make use of low-level programming languages such as C or Fortran. There are many software toolboxes available from Mathworks and other sources that provide additional functionality needed to solve problems in a wide range of disciplines.

How can I Learn to Use MATLAB?

There are numerous online resources for learning the basics of MATLAB. A great place to begin is with Mathwork’s Getting Started with MATLAB guide. You should also check out Mathworks’ MATLAB tutorial site

Downloading and installing MATLAB

Columbia has a licensing agreement with Mathworks to provide all students with a single copy of MATLAB and Simulink with the following toolboxes:


Updated 08.02.2016:

The license for MATLAB has been renewed.

Users who do NOT want to install any of the newly added products (there are additional toolboxes) can simply re-activate their stand-alone installations:
http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/99457-how-do-i-activate-matlab
Begin at this line: It is sometimes necessary to activate an instance of MATLAB which is already installed. For example you may

Users who DO want to install the products that were added or who want to update to a different release would use these instructions instead of the ones above:
How do I add additional toolboxes to an existing installation

In all cases, the MATLAB installation and activation team is available to assist with questions:
support@mathworks.com or 508.647.7000 – press 3, then press 1
Live help is available weekdays 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern time.


To get started, please make sure that you meet MATLAB's system requirements and then login with your UNI.