What is MatLab, and how can it be downloaded?

You may have heard about how useful MatLab is, but you may not know what it is, what it’s good for, or how to download it. This is why, in the following lines, we will explain you what MatLab is and how to download it.

Likewise, we will talk about some of its uses and applications, as well as the cost of its license, and we will show you some alternative software that you could use. So, if you want to know more about MatLab, please stay.

What is MatLab?

MatLab is a system of numeric computing or math software. Its name comes from “Matrix Laboratory.” This software offers an integrated development environment with its own programming language.

The programming language used by MatLab is known as “M Language”, and it’s based on matrices, which is considered by many the most natural way of expressing computational math. The M Language allows you to perform operations with vectors, matrices, functions, Lambda calculus and object-oriented programming.

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As any other system of numeric computing, MatLab has as its main goal to design algorithms to simulate approximations to solve problems of mathematic analysis. We need to mention that this program is multiplatform since you could install it in Unix, Windows, and Apple Mac OS.

MatLab has been designed specifically to be used by engineers and scientists. Millions of engineers and scientists use MatLab to analyze and design systems and innovative products that transform our lives and our world.

It is mainly used in research and development centers, but it is also frequently used in academic environments, that is, in different institutes or universities. The basic services from this software include the following:

    • Manipulation of matrices.
    • Representation of data and functions.
    • Implementation of algorithms.
    • Creation of graphical user interfaces (GUIs.)
    • Communication with programs and other hardware devices in other languages.

Main features of this program

    • High level language for scientific calculations and engineering.
    • Desktop environment optimized for iterative exploration, the design and the solution of problems.
    • Graphics to visualize data.
    • Tools to create customized diagrams.
    • Apps for adjusting curves, classify data, analyze signals, adjust control systems, and many other tasks.
    • Complementary toolboxes for a wide variety of scientific and engineering applications.
    • Tools for creating applications with customized user interfaces.
    • Interfaces for C/C++, Java®, .NET, Python, SQL, Hadoop and Microsoft® Excel®.
    • Options for copyright-free implementation in order to share MATLAB programs with end users.

MatLab’s special and basic functionalities

MatLab also has a variety of special and basic functionalities, such as the following:

    • Special and basic functionalities: Gamma, Beta and elliptical functions, transformation in coordinate systems, identity matrix and other basic matrices, etc.
    • Numeric lineal algebra: Own values and matrix decomposition, general functions for evaluating matrices, inverse matrices and matrix factoring, etc.
    • Polynomials and interpolation: 1D and 2D interpolation, polynomial construction, cubical spin interpolation, etc.
    • Non-lineal numerical methods: Zero search in functions of a single variable, minimizing function of one or more variables, numerical solution of one or more variables, etc.
    • Statistics and Fourier analysis: 1D and 2D convolution, digital 1D and 2D filters, Fourier 1D and 2D transformations and their inverse, etc.
    • Algebraic and logical operations: Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and exponentials in matrices, among others.
    • Utilities: Management and maintenance of errors, conversion of Fortran data types, date and time functionalities, etc.

What is MatLab useful for: Uses and applications

The applications for this software are varied. For instance, MatLab is currently present in active security systems in cars, such as assisted direction, traction control, brake antilocking, assisted emergency brakes, among others.

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Likewise, it could be used for creating smart electrical networks or mobile LTE networks. MatLab could even be useful in medicine, since it allows you to elaborate different devices of health monitoring (for instance, the classic vital signs monitor.)

Likewise, it is used in branches such as robotics, signal processing, automatic learning, image processing, artificial vision, communications, computational finances, control design, and many other branches.

MatLab is even used by scientists for developing technology used in interplanetary space probes. So, if humans ever visit another planet, such as Mars, you can be sure that MatLab will be involved.

In short, there is a huge number and a wide variety of uses that can be given to this program. The creations made with MatLab go from systems and products of low complexity, to more complex ones such as the ones used in spaceships.

How can I download MatLab?

Now that you know what MatLab is and what it’s used for, it’s likely that you may want to download it to begin your project right now. To do it, you only need to access their official website and download it directly from there.

But then, the question arises: Is MatLab a free software? The answer is no. To use it, you need to purchase a license. There are annual and lifetime licenses.

However, you can download a trial version of MatLab. That is, a free trial version for 30 days. For a month, you can use MatLab at no cost so that you can use it however you wish.

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However, after the 30-day period, you will have to buy the software. Below, we will show you the prices for the MatLab licenses.

    • Standard: This license is bought by end users, and it has a price of 940 USD per year. Or, you could pay the lifetime license, which costs 2,350 USD, so that you can use MatLab unlimitedly.
    • Education: This license is for instructors, researchers or personnel from educational institutes. The annual price is of 275 USD, while the lifetime license has a price of 550 USD.
    • Home: The license for those that want to use MatLab for personal use. Its price is of 95 USD.
    • Student: License for students in institutes that offer degrees. The Student license has two variations: the “Student License,” which costs 29 USD, and the “Student Suite License,” which costs 55 USD.

Alternatives to MatLab

MatLab is a wonderful program and it’s quite useful. However, not everyone can purchase it. A lot of times, what people want is a free system of numeric computing, or at least one with very affordable prices.

If this is also your case, then you are in luck, since we bring you today some free alternatives to MatLab. Any of these programs are useful for doing tasks similar to those that you could do with MatLab. But, what’s most important, all of them are open and free.

  1. Octave.
  2. Maxima.
  3. LotaMath.
  4. Scilab.
  5. FreeMat.
  6. Euler Math Toolbox.
  7. Mathomatic.
  8. Xcas.
  9. GAP.
  10. Eligenmath.

It’s worth mentioning that Octave is considered by many as the best free alternative to MatLab. This software has really good reviews and high scores on different websites and opinion blogs.

But you can try any of the 10 programs shown in here. I’m sure that at least one of them will be perfect for you.

You now know what MatLab is and how to download it!

Now you know what MatLab is and how to download it. But not only that. You also know its features, its functionalities, what can be used for, the prices of its licenses, and which are the free programs that serve as a substitute.

Regardless of the project that you want to undertake, after reading this article, you will know which math programs you’ll be able to use. All of the programs mentioned in here are really good and will help you to effectively to your work, learn more and try new things with success.

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