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MATLAB Primer, Second Edition

By Kermit N. Signon

Department of Mathematics, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL



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MATLAB is an interactive, matrix-based system for scientific and engineering calcu- lations. You can solve complex numerical problems without actually writing a program. The name MATLAB is an abbreviation for MATrix LABoratory.

The purpose of this Primer is to help you begin to use MATLAB. They can best be used hands-on. You are encouraged to work at the computer as you read the Primer and freely experiment with examples.

1. Accessing MATLAB
2. Entering matrices
3. Matrix operations, array operations
4. Statements, expressions, variables; saving a session
5. Matrix building functions
6. For, while, if --- and relations
7. Scalar functions
8. Vector functions
9. Matrix functions
10. Command line editing and recall
11. Submatrices and colon notation
12. M-files
13. Text strings, error messages, input
14. Managing M-files
15. Comparing efficiency of algorithms: flops and etime
16. Output format
17. Hard copy
18. Graphics
19. Reference

While the second edition of the Primer is based on version 3.5 of MATLAB, it is compatible with version 4.0 with the fundamental differences noted. An edition of the Primer based on version 4.0 is under development.


Kermit N. Sigmon Kermit N. Sigmon (1936-1997) was born in Lincoln County, North Carolina, and attended Appalachian State University and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, for his bachelor's and master's degrees, respectively.

Sigmon became a member of the Gainesville community in 1963 when he began his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Florida. He received that degree in 1969 with a dissertation, Topological Means, under the direction of A. D. Wallace. Later his research interests shifted to numerical analysis, numerical linear algebra and parallel computing.

The Kermit Sigmon Scholarship.


Copyright © 1989, 1992 by Kermit Sigmon
See document for distribution conditions.


Book Cover

MATLAB Primer Eighth Edition

by Kermit Sigmon and Timothy A. Davis, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

ISBN: 978-1-5848-8523-8

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Kermit N. Signon (2010), "MATLAB Primer, Second Edition,"

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