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Archive for September 26th, 2009

Learning Matlab

These grad students are not currently using Matlab.

These grad students are not currently using Matlab.

For my future lab work I need to learn Matlab. I am slowly working my way through the demo videos to get a basic familiarity with the software. While I am learning what can be done I probably won’t really learn the software until I need to do something with it.

I always thought that Matlab was an alternative to Mathematica or at least fulfilled a lot of what it does. After using Mathematica for some data analysis I can see how Matlab could replace Mathematica in a work flow, but Mathematica still wins for algebraic calculations and calculus. Though I suppose that I will slowly be shying away from solving hard integrals and moving more towards working with real numbers.

While I appreciate that Matlab is offered for 64-bit Intel OS X I am not a fan of the yearly license renewals. I am using my labs license so I don’t have to pay but it is just an inconvenience to know that your software could stop working. For this reason my professor also gave me an older copy of Matlab to install on my Windows partition that has a perpetual license and won’t expire. The only upside I see to the annual license is if it includes all updates and upgrades to new versions of Matlab.

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