Matlab / Simulink / Stateflow is a popular calculation and simulation environment for scientists and engineers. You can program in text mode (Matlab) or in a visual icon based environment (Simulink or Stateflow). The text programming is its own language, but it is as easy to learn as other text based languages. The visual based environment looks a lot like computer desktops with icons. The big difference is that the icons can do mathematical operations. You can drag and drop icons and connect the icons. Following the arrows from beginning to end is just like reading a text based language from top to bottom.
Download software: http://www.mathworks.com/academia/student_version/
Cost: Student versions are less than $100
Instructions to setup software: Follow instructions to download and install
Hardware requirements: PC, Mac
Operating systems supported: Win, Mac
Difficulty level: 4 out of 5
1. Be sure to perform these steps on a computer with Matlab properly installed.
2. Create a folder on your hard drive -– call it “MatlabDemo”. No spaces.
3. After launching Matlab, be sure that the browser at the top of the window has the same path as the folder location you created above.
4. Download one of the following files into folder you created above. Unzip the file.
5. With Matlab installed on the computer, you can launch it with any of the programs that end in *.m or *.mdl.
6. If you right click on any of the files from the browser and open with wordpad or any similar program, you will see the source code used by Matlab to create the images (mdl files) or run the script (m files).
ABOUT THE PROGRAM — A VISUAL WALK THROUGH
1. Open the file “MATLABsimulinkSTATEFLOWstudent C.Hideg 15jun2013.pptx” for instructions on how to run the different programs. The code operates with any Matlab installation including the student version.
2. Open the file “MATLABsimulinkSTATEFLOW C.Hideg 02may2013.pptx” for instructions on how to run the different programs. The code operates with some nice graphics and the Matlab installation must include the “Dials and Gauges” toolbox.
3. The file “TemperatureSampleCode.m” is a script file that operates in the command window of Matlab. You can either type TemperatureSampleCode after the “>>” prompt or double click on the name in the file window and hit the run button at the top of the new program window. Matlab is case sensitive, so be sure of what you type.
4. A picture is worth a thousand words in this programming language. When double clicking on the “TempConvert_Student.mdl” or “TempConvert2_Student.mdl” more windows appear. The program is laid out in icons similar to many operating systems you will find on PCs, netbooks, etc.
http://www.mathworks.com/academia/ — the location to download a student version of Matlab. It is also a source of examples and tutorials.
http://www.mathworks.com/academia/student_version/ — selecting the Student Version field yields this page with many more resources for an introduction into a professional engineering environment.