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MATLAB EXPO UK 2013 – Something for Everyone

Guest post from Dr. Tanya Morton.

Last month, MathWorks held MATLAB EXPO UK at the Silverstone Circuit, the home of British motor racing. It was a great opportunity for the MATLAB and Simulink community to come together and the event provided something for everyone across multiple industries, applications and level of experience. The background roar of cars racing round the track certainly added to the atmosphere of the event.

A photo montage from MATLAB EXPO

The breadth of use of MATLAB in industry and academia never fails to impress me. This event featured top customer speakers from the aerospace, automotive, power, finance, and education industries:

  • Rolls-Royce discussed simulation and modelling for aerospace engines, including how MATLAB helped to model the effects of volcanic ash, which caused so much disruption in 2010
  • Ford Motor Company highlighted the use of MATLAB to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in automotive vehicles
  • Alstom Grid talked about their large-scale adoption of Simulink for electrical power transmission
  • HSBC presented a policy simulator for modelling global financial risk, built using object oriented MATLAB
  • University of Cambridge demonstrated their MATLAB package for enhancing mathematical education

Rolls-Royce takes the stage

The range of applications and technology showcased at the event was simply fantastic. Some of my personal favourites were:

  • The full-size model of the BLOODHOUND SuperSonic Car in the exhibition hall with a real-time demo of the control system
  • The NAO humanoid robot which can mimic human motion. Delegates had the opportunity to literally dance with a robot!
  • Jasmina Lazic, an application engineer at MathWorks, gave a talk on Machine Learning for data analytics with a classification example. The session introduced delegates to when, why and how to select from a variety of machine learning methods
  • Ellie Dobson, application engineer at MathWorks, talked the audience through techniques to speed up MATLAB algorithms through code analysis, multicore CPUs, GPUs, cloud technologies and MATLAB Coder
  • Marta Wilczkowiak, application engineer at MathWorks, discussed the myriad of ways of sharing your MATLAB algorithms including via Apps and Web Services

A NAO Humanoid Robot takes a break

This year we added some introductory sessions for delegates wanting a primer on MathWorks core technology. These sessions proved very popular and we plan to expand them for next year. There was plenty for the advanced user too with a great ‘What’s new in MATLAB?’ talk from Chief Scientist Joe Hicklin, and masterclass tracks for both MATLAB and Simulink.

An animated Chief Scientist makes his point

There was also plenty of geeky fun on offer at MATLAB EXPO through games and competitions. In particular,

  • MATLAB EXPO Conversations offered a prize to the best networkers by analysis of attendee interactions using active RFID tags with Arduino chips, Raspberry Pi base stations, and a web front-end powered by MATLAB Production Server – a riot of cool technology!
  • The magnetic MATLAB puzzle boards challenged attendees to solve a Cody checkerboard challenge problem
  • The Model-Based Design track took a fun Simulink quiz with 13 multiple-choice questions (and yes, the answer to all of them was b to celebrate the R2013b release!)
  • Lucky attendees were able to try to get the fastest lap-time on the F1 Simulator and competition was fierce!

Concentrating hard in the F1 Simulator

The presentations from MATLAB EXPO are now available for download from the website:

I hope to see some of you at next year’s community event!

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