MATLAB An introduction - PowerPoint

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					MATLAB: An introduction

             Markus Bauer,
UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
      University College London
       (previous version:Christian Ruff)

Course overview

•   Autumn 2009: Using MATLAB for data analysis and visualisation
     –   Session 1: Basics of MATLAB / Programming
     –   Session 2: Basics of MATLAB / Programming
     –   Session 3: Handling and Importing of data & analysis
     –   Session 4: Visualization in MATLAB
     –   Session 5: Tips and tricks, questions and answers

•   Spring 2010: Using MATLAB to run experiments and collect data

•   Summer 2010: Advanced experimental and data analysis procedures

 All materials online at
    What is MATLAB?
•    “MATrix LABoratory”, a high-level programming language / computing environment

•    Enables efficient programming of mathematical operations, in particular for matrix-

•    Similar to programming languages as „C‟, but easier to use (variable definitions etc)

•    Advanced visualization tools --> Graphs and plotting data

•    Many specialised toolboxes available (e.g., statistics; image processing, etc.) + code for
     specific scientific purposes freely available on the internet (e.g., COGENT, SPM)

•    Transparent way of analysing data -> full access to data on all levels (no „black box‟),
     easy to modify / build up on existing tools

•    Can make GUI based software environments

•    Disadvantages:
•    It is expensive (but see Octave)
•    It can be slow (can partially be compensated by using MEX functions, compiled)
How do I get started?


• (free software)

•   Excellent documentation and tutorial (both online and in pdf form) at or by typing help or doc in MATLAB

•   Other MATLAB tutorials on the web:

•   A good book: “Mastering Matlab” by Hanselmann and Littlefield

•   Lots of functions at
    Basics of MATLAB
•    - matlab windows - desktop - command window, history and workspace
•    Show the matlab command window:
•    Can use as a calculator, or to „interactively‟ enter commands
•    Show history function and the tab
•    Where are functions - path definition and the startup file
•    Matlab functions and scripts: = programs
•    Matlab editor: a text editor
•    Essentials of programming:
•    Variables and arrays: numerical variables (integer and double), strings / string arrays
               • Cell arrays, structures
•    - built in functions (e.g. fprintf, open, save etc)
•    Operators: + - * / ^ logical operators: & | ~ others: () [] {} , ; :
•    Conditional statements : if ... elseif ... end
•    Loops:
•    For ((to)) end loop
•    While (conditional statement) end loop
•    Distinction: script and function
Demo: Functions

• Functions: function [output1,output2,…] = myfun(input1, input2,…)

• Functions:
   – Input needs to be defined in command, output not
   – Function workspace: a separate module of the workspace
       • contains inputs to functions, transformation variables, and outputs from
       • These variables are not visible from the global workspace
       • Functions can call other functions and contain subfunctions
   – Commands without semicolon are visible in command window
   – Graphical output is visible
Demo: Functions in MATLAB

• MATLAB – just a collection of functions:
   – Built-in functions cannot be edited but have an .m-file (for help)
   – Add-on functions are just an ordinary .m file that you can see/edit/add

• How MATLAB finds a function:
   –   Embedded in the function as subfunction
   –   Built-in functions
   –   Local directory
   –   Path in descending order

• Add functions to directory outside of the MATLAB toolbox (e.g.,
  „work‟ – otherwise MATLAB might overwrite them when re-installed

• Dependency report