MATLAB is a software package for performing matrix calculations. In this context, a matrix is nothing else but a rectangular scheme of numbers that can also be interpreted as an array. As mentioned before, the name MATLAB is an abbreviation of `matrix laboratory'. More than any other scientific computation programs, MATLAB encourages and expects the user to
make heavy use of arrays, vectors, and matrices.
As the name MATLAB suggests, the basic calculation unit is a matrix. For matrix calculations, MATLAB knows two kinds of operations:
You have seen the array operations already in Chapter 1. Array operations are distinguished from the matrix operations that are common in Linear Algebra by the fact that a dot `.' is put in front of the operation sign. This chapter mainly focusses on the matrix operations following the rules of linear algebra.
- matrix operations, as they play a role in linear algebra,
- array operations, which simply act identically on each element of an array.