MATLAB Answers

How did you learn MATLAB?

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Doug Hull
Doug Hull on 27 Jul 2011
Commented: Rageeni sah on 17 Feb 2015
I think a lot about how to more effectively teach MATLAB, internally to new hires, but also through my blog.
How did you learn MATLAB, what knowledge of programming did you have coming into learning MATLAB? When did you learn it is important also as the resources available have expanded radically in the last 15 years.
Answers from new users who are just beginning down this path are of particular interest, as those are who we can help the most.
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Doug Hull
Doug Hull on 27 Jul 2011
I see now there is a similar question here:
If you answered there, no need to repeat yourself. I would delete this question, but some new people are answering here too.

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Answers (9)

Paulo Silva
Paulo Silva on 27 Jul 2011
Hi Doug, you might find this interesting How long have you been using matlab? tell us your story
How did you learn MATLAB: From teachers at School (10 years ago), didn't learn much besides the very basic things, learned more by my own.
what knowledge of programming did you have coming into learning MATLAB: C, C++, Vb, QBASIC, many days spent with Casio graphic calculators doing games and tools.
But the most important way to learn MATLAB is by using it, the documentation is excellent, video tutorials from you Doug Hull and from others are great, being here helping others and learning at the same time.

Doug Hull
Doug Hull on 27 Jul 2011
I learned MATLAB in 1995 in the context of a numerical methods class that was the normal first class in MATLAB and in a "Sink or Swim" situation in a graduate level kinematics course that assumed you already knew some simulation language.
I was taking these at the same time (not recommended), I learned a lot more in the 'Sink or Swim' situation.
I came into this only knowing BASIC from elementary school. This was primarily self-taught. BASIC to MATLAB was not much of a stretch, just different syntax!
The primary books were the manual (we used to print manuals on pieces of dead trees) and Code Complete.
The Internet was very immature at this time, there were no resources outside of CSSM. I barely used it.
The real education came when starting my career at MathWorks, but this is not a scalable solution available to enough people! :)

Susan on 27 Jul 2011
I just start learning it around January 2011 time and still trying to learn it.. I first bought the Matlab software read the interactive tutorial available there then read one documentation one of my friends gave me and write small example in matlab workspace so I can see how its working.. I just learnt Java at uni and Matlab to me was too different from Java and thats what creates the confusion for me.I used Matlab questions service and Newsgroup too.. I don't think Matlab is too difficult but I think you need a lot and a lot of practice to get the idea and to practice many examples before you work on anything related to Matlab but with deadlines sometimes its difficult to do all that and you rather search for what you need which is bad its but necessity to meet the deadlines !!!

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 27 Jul 2011
I used a combination of the help documents and CSSM. The help documents could guide me through specific syntaxes, but CSSM was valuable for learning what was most appropriate in what situation.
CSSM was also very valuable for learning about routines that I would have been unlikely to discover in my work. That was partly learning new ways to think about problems, and partly learning about routines and toolboxes that I do not need in my work but which I could assist others with.
The syntax of MATLAB is not difficult (though there are some tricks), but MATLAB overall has a very large library of routines, far too large for most people to keep track of. That is a strength, but also a problem.

Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 27 Jul 2011
We had more money than time so in order to get up to speed quickly I took one of your crash courses (class room instruction). After two days of that I was up and running. I've had decades of programming experience prior to that.

Nathan Greco
Nathan Greco on 27 Jul 2011
I started Matlab by being thrown into it through my internship at Sandia Natl. Labs two years ago. I learned how to program in Matlab through reading old (large) programs that were written by interns before myself as well as using the CSSM to ask (and answer!) questions. And now, I learn by reading through this Matlab Answers section. The most effective way for me to learn was by DOING and asking questions (or researching answers) via CSSM when I failed.
I have about 5 years of prior programming experience in C/C++,Java,Fortran (also from this internship), and Visual Basic.

Thijs on 25 Oct 2011
started picking it up about 5 years ago. Was thrown into the deep end during a first year bsc. mechanical engineering project. at the time was just about able to create a "hello world" in Basic.

Sainath on 2 Dec 2011
I am using MATLAB since 2008. During my Master studies I learn lot of things in MATLAB, started from basic. To get command I spent lot of time in labs, at that time most of the things I went through trail and error basis. Matlab help helps me to get good command on the stuff what I need. I suggest people to watch webinars and videos posted by people in there blogs which we come across these days to get basic idea.
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Negar on 29 Oct 2013
Can somebody please tell me and the other new beginners what CSSM is? Thank you !

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Jeremy on 29 Oct 2013
I have always dabbled in programming since I was 13, but never really got deep in any one language. As a mechanical engineer now I starting using matlab in 2008 for signal processing and have really enjoyed the built in engineering functions, plotting and handling of large arrays. I really just started at the recommendation of a mentor. I have a couple books, but use the user community here and at large more than the books.
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Rageeni sah
Rageeni sah on 17 Feb 2015
Are there mentors who help beginners online?

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