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Jan Simon's solution is more efficient.
W. Owen Brimijoin's solution returns a matrix when there is more than one max value.
Even more efficient than W.Owen Brimijoin's suggestion:
[dummy, index] = max(abs(A(:));
result = A(index);
Linear indexing beats the logical indexing here.
What about this alternate (and arguably simpler) means of solving the problem:
Hooray for logical indexing!