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Thread Subject:
How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: i_like_macs

Date: 21 Dec, 2009 05:05:20

Message: 1 of 10

Hello,

I need to learn MATLAB for my postgraduate engineering course, and would like to know what a good approach would be. My task is to understand MATLAB code written by someone else, and embellish it. I have virtually no programming experience and am not a good self learner. That said, I did purchase one beginner book on MATLAB [1], and another is on its way [2]. I could possibly receive funding to attend the short Mathworks courses, but would like to learn at least some basics, so that I have some questions to ask at minimum. I have taken an on-line MATLAB course at my university and completed one assignment, which could only be completed with much hand holding by the professor to implement a Fourier Series.

For me, MATLAB is very unintuitive, but I have no choice but to learn it. Therefore any general-approach suggestions to achieve this end would be appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.

[1] MATLAB: An Introduction with Applications by Amos Gilat
[2] Matlab: A Practical Introduction by Stormy Attaway

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: TideMan

Date: 21 Dec, 2009 07:15:14

Message: 2 of 10

On Dec 21, 6:05 pm, "i_like_macs " <dk...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hello,
>
> I need to learn MATLAB for my postgraduate engineering course, and would like to know what a good approach would be. My task is to understand MATLAB code written by someone else, and embellish it. I have virtually no programming experience and am not a good self learner. That said, I did purchase one beginner book on MATLAB [1], and another is on its way [2]. I could possibly receive funding to attend the short Mathworks courses, but would like to learn at least some basics, so that I have some questions to ask at minimum. I have taken an on-line MATLAB course at my university and completed one assignment, which could only be completed with much hand holding by the professor to implement a Fourier Series.
>
> For me, MATLAB is very unintuitive, but I have no choice but to learn it. Therefore any general-approach suggestions to achieve this end would be appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.
>
> [1] MATLAB: An Introduction with Applications by Amos Gilat
> [2] Matlab: A Practical Introduction by Stormy Attaway

What sort of education are engineers getting these days when one can
graduate with "virtually no programming experience"? Exactly 40 years
ago I graduated as a civil engineer, fully conversant with programming
in Fortran using Hollerith cards on an IBM mainframe. These days with
personal computers and interactive languages like Matlab, it is so
easy to get programming experience. Yet, this fellow has managed to
graduate without these skills.
And he finds Matlab "unintuitive"?
That's incredible.

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: Greig

Date: 21 Dec, 2009 08:02:04

Message: 3 of 10

"i_like_macs " <dkoya@yahoo.com> wrote in message <hgmvmg$8aj$1@fred.mathworks.com>...
> Hello,
>
> I need to learn MATLAB for my postgraduate engineering course, and would like to know what a good approach would be. My task is to understand MATLAB code written by someone else, and embellish it. I have virtually no programming experience and am not a good self learner. That said, I did purchase one beginner book on MATLAB [1], and another is on its way [2]. I could possibly receive funding to attend the short Mathworks courses, but would like to learn at least some basics, so that I have some questions to ask at minimum. I have taken an on-line MATLAB course at my university and completed one assignment, which could only be completed with much hand holding by the professor to implement a Fourier Series.
>
> For me, MATLAB is very unintuitive, but I have no choice but to learn it. Therefore any general-approach suggestions to achieve this end would be appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.
>
> [1] MATLAB: An Introduction with Applications by Amos Gilat
> [2] Matlab: A Practical Introduction by Stormy Attaway

Personally I find that learning a programming language is easiest when you have a target to aim for and you learn by using. So far, with 3 and a bit languages it has worked for me.

For some one completely new with programming start with things you know. MATLAB is full of various tools and packages that will do what you want, but I would reccommend starting from scratch. For example, calculating the arithmetic mean. MATLAB has a function for that, it also has functions for calculating the sum and size of a data array, but do it the old fashioned way. It'll teach you the basics of loops and handling simple data storage. Then you can develop onto more complex problems and learn to use MATLAB functions.

For the code you want to understand, break it down into bite-size chunks if possible. If the person who wrote it was any good, there should be plenty of comments to explain sections of code, and comments are something you should get into the habbit of using too. Understanding it all will only really be possible if you understand the problem being addressed by the program, and how you would tackle it given only a pen a paper. This info should help you to uderstand what is going on in the code.

Hope this is a useful start

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: i_like_macs

Date: 21 Dec, 2009 17:38:04

Message: 4 of 10

"Greig " <greig.paterson@noc.soton.ac.uk> wrote in message <hgna1s$pn4$1@fred.mathworks.com>...
> "i_like_macs " <dkoya@yahoo.com> wrote in message <hgmvmg$8aj$1@fred.mathworks.com>...
> > Hello,
> >
> > I need to learn MATLAB for my postgraduate engineering course, and would like to know what a good approach would be. My task is to understand MATLAB code written by someone else, and embellish it. I have virtually no programming experience and am not a good self learner. That said, I did purchase one beginner book on MATLAB [1], and another is on its way [2]. I could possibly receive funding to attend the short Mathworks courses, but would like to learn at least some basics, so that I have some questions to ask at minimum. I have taken an on-line MATLAB course at my university and completed one assignment, which could only be completed with much hand holding by the professor to implement a Fourier Series.
> >
> > For me, MATLAB is very unintuitive, but I have no choice but to learn it. Therefore any general-approach suggestions to achieve this end would be appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.
> >
> > [1] MATLAB: An Introduction with Applications by Amos Gilat
> > [2] Matlab: A Practical Introduction by Stormy Attaway
>
> Personally I find that learning a programming language is easiest when you have a target to aim for and you learn by using. So far, with 3 and a bit languages it has worked for me.
>
> For some one completely new with programming start with things you know. MATLAB is full of various tools and packages that will do what you want, but I would reccommend starting from scratch. For example, calculating the arithmetic mean. MATLAB has a function for that, it also has functions for calculating the sum and size of a data array, but do it the old fashioned way. It'll teach you the basics of loops and handling simple data storage. Then you can develop onto more complex problems and learn to use MATLAB functions.
>
> For the code you want to understand, break it down into bite-size chunks if possible. If the person who wrote it was any good, there should be plenty of comments to explain sections of code, and comments are something you should get into the habbit of using too. Understanding it all will only really be possible if you understand the problem being addressed by the program, and how you would tackle it given only a pen a paper. This info should help you to uderstand what is going on in the code.
>
> Hope this is a useful start

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: i_like_macs

Date: 21 Dec, 2009 17:41:05

Message: 5 of 10

Hello again,

If it helps, I'm using the student edition of MATLAB 2009a on Mac OS 10.6.2 (Snow Leopard). Many thanks.

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: Kenneth

Date: 21 Dec, 2009 17:49:04

Message: 6 of 10

"i_like_macs " <dkoya@yahoo.com> wrote in message <hgmvmg$8aj$1@fred.mathworks.com>...
> Hello,
>
> I need to learn MATLAB for my postgraduate engineering course, and would like to know what a good approach would be. My task is to understand MATLAB code written by someone else, and embellish it. I have virtually no programming experience and am not a good self learner. That said, I did purchase one beginner book on MATLAB [1], and another is on its way [2]. I could possibly receive funding to attend the short Mathworks courses, but would like to learn at least some basics, so that I have some questions to ask at minimum. I have taken an on-line MATLAB course at my university and completed one assignment, which could only be completed with much hand holding by the professor to implement a Fourier Series.
>
> For me, MATLAB is very unintuitive, but I have no choice but to learn it. Therefore any general-approach suggestions to achieve this end would be appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.
>
> [1] MATLAB: An Introduction with Applications by Amos Gilat
> [2] Matlab: A Practical Introduction by Stormy Attaway
Something as simple as getting a few books, and writing a few example programs should help. its what helped me get into the MATLAB language. I had trouble with it since i only knew C#.

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: Richard Willey

Date: 21 Dec, 2009 18:53:32

Message: 7 of 10

Hi there

From the sounds of things, you're trying to get a more intuitive grasp
regarding the synatx of the language and why it works the way that it does.
There is always the option to get things straight from the horse's mouth.
(so to speak)

Cleve Moler wrote a lovely book called "Numerical Computing with MATLAB".
You can download this for free at

http://www.mathworks.com/moler/chapters.html

This book contains a lot of very nice examples showing how to use MATLAB to
solve a wide variety of problems.

Over the years, Cleve has had an enormous impact on MATLAB's design starting
with the basic syntax.
MATLAB is a tool that Cleve designed to solve certain types of problems.

This book does a great job tracing out the types of problems that Cleve
finds interesting and the way in which the MATLAB language can be used to
solve these sorts of problems. I found that reading the book helped alot
when I was trying to figure out what's what...

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: i_like_macs

Date: 21 Dec, 2009 22:39:04

Message: 8 of 10

"Richard Willey" <rwilley@mathworks.com> wrote in message <hgog7d$76s$1@fred.mathworks.com>...

> Cleve Moler wrote a lovely book called "Numerical Computing with MATLAB".
> You can download this for free at
>
> http://www.mathworks.com/moler/chapters.html

Sorry about one of my previous posts above. I'm not sure what happened, but that post ended looking like a quote, without anything I wrote included.

Thank you Richard for your suggestions. I've download the book and the supplementary MATLAB code. It's so wonderful that a good text such as this one can be downloaded freely.

I appreciate all the assistance thus far from the forum community. I should have asked for help earlier! Thank you very much.

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: i_like_macs

Date: 21 Dec, 2009 23:18:04

Message: 9 of 10

Hello,

If someone who has attended the MathWorks MATLAB courses can comment on the quality of what is on offer, I would appreciate this also. If I choose to do so, I will be taking the MATLAB courses at the Cambridge (UK) location.

As I mentioned in my original post, I am a poor self learner, so an interactive learning environment is preferable. Please let me know if the MathWorks courses are any good.

Subject: How to learn MATLAB by someone with no programming background

From: Fifo

Date: 22 Dec, 2009 01:40:25

Message: 10 of 10

"i_like_macs " <dkoya@yahoo.com> wrote in message

> As I mentioned in my original post, I am a poor self learner

At the end, there would be a the day where you couldn't buy your diplomas anymore.
It looks that that day has come.

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