Accessing Matlab



·         On-campus labs (recommended): The fastest and most direct way to access Matlab is to work in one of the on-campus computer labs (TAY, ENS, PAI).  The TAs will also hold office hours in the Taylor lab, so if you work during those times you can get help with some questions in real-time.


·         Windows machines: On campus, you can run an X server for Windows (such as the free XMing), then login to your CS account with an SSH client (like the free program Putty – check the “Enable X11 forwarding” box under ConnectionàSSH).  This should be fast enough to do if you are on campus.  Off campus, you may find running this with GUIs is too slow.


·         At home: You can set up a VNC server (using software such as TightVNC) on one of the computers in the labs.  Depending on your connection, the X server+SSH may also work if you use the “-nodesktop” option below.


·         Purchasing your own copy of Matlab (*not necessary*): The UT Campus Computer Store sells a student edition at what is a fairly good price for Matlab (around $100).  If you prefer to run your own version locally, this may be of interest to you.  However, it is absolutely not necessary to buy the software in order to do the work in this course.  The CS computer labs are the easiest and most direct way to do the work.





Note: opening Matlab with this command: 


>> matlab -nodesktop


will give you the command line version (no GUI), which can work well if you are editing code elsewhere (say, in Emacs) and want to run it simply from the command line.





Using Matlab


·         Typing  “ help  <function name> ” at the Matlab prompt will print the help page for the given function, usually with examples of how to use it.


·         Typing “ lookfor <string> ” will search all the built-in .m files for the keyword string.  This can help you find relevant functions even if you don’t know the exact name. 


·         This is a nice and compact tutorial of Matlab code written by Stefan Roth


·         Matlab image processing toolbox, getting started


·         Matlab getting started guide from Mathworks







·         UTCS facilities/computing staff webpage