Scientists and engineers eventually find themselves in the position where they need to perform long or repetitive calculations in order to solve a problem. There are lots of great programming languages available, and the task at hand determines which language will provide the best solution in the time available. Being able to work in several computational languages and programs is a valuable skill, but being able to perform rapid engineering calculations that can result in graphical representations of the results is a real plus in any computational exercise.
MATLAB is a very useable scientific and engineering language that has been used throughout this book. It is very easy to learn and has a wide array of calculation and graphical capabilities. It has a wide user base, making it easy to find excellent books and tutorials on almost any topic imaginable. Also, both professional and student versions of MATLAB are available, making getting started easy!
MATLAB is a scripting language that supports both visualization and
complex numerical calculations. A complete description of the capabilities of MATLAB is beyond the scope of this introduction, but a quick review of the website or any of the supporting websites will quickly bring you up to speed on the range of capabilities.
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