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Why do I use the MATLAB language? 12

Posted by Doug Hull,

You and I are both here because we use MATLAB.

I use MATLAB a lot, and odds are pretty good you do to. I went to some fancy-pants engineering schools, but I am pretty sure I am not an engineer. I speak “engineer” as a second language but MATLAB is my first language. A lot of what I do here for MathWorks is show people how to translate the languages of “engineer”, “science”, and “finance” into MATLAB.

In engineering school, I felt like I was a “programmer”. Relative to my colleagues, I was. I now work at a software company and recently made an attempt at learning Ruby on Rails. That quickly cleared up any illusion that I am a Real Programmer. I am a MATLAB user that understands more programming than I can actually do myself.

Every job I have had since I started college I got because I could use MATLAB: computer lab monitor, engineering co-op, research assistant, three time MATLAB textbook author, graduate student and finally MathWorker.

With such a heavy investment in MATLAB, it is natural to as why? It comes down to that “Ah Ha moment.” I am pretty sure you have had that. You know there is a pattern in that data… clickety, clackety, F5 and “Ah Ha” there is that pattern.

Sometimes I am just curious, “How much money do I save if I pay an extra $20 a month on my mortgage each month?” Yes, I know there are calculators on the web that will do that, but will they plot it exactly like I want, plus allow me to increase the amount by a dollar every month? clickety, clackety, F5 and “Ah Ha” now I know.

I use MATLAB because I like to feel really clever and MATLAB lets me do that faster and more easily than any other piece of software I have ever found.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny …’

Isaac Asimov

Why do you use MATLAB?

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