18.385J | Fall 2014 | Graduate

Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos


MATLAB® Information

Information as to how to access the on-line MATLAB help shows up on the command window as soon as you start MATLAB.

The three basic commands in MATLAB that you should always remember are:

  • lookfor. If you want to do something in MATLAB, but have no idea of how to do it, nor what command to employ, the thing to do is to Use lookfor, as in (for example):
    >> lookfor plot
    (here » is the MATLAB prompt). This will list all the MATLAB commands where the word plot shows up somewhere in their docs. Most of them will be useless to you at any given time, but the ones you need (if any) will be listed. Once you have the names of a few commands that look as if they may do what you need, you can switch to help (see next).
  • help. If you have a command name, but are not sure of how to use it, “» help command_name” will tell you how to.
  • helpdesk. This brings up the html help window, where an enormous amount of easy to access help is available.

Below you can find a list of some of the places where help on how to use MATLAB can be found.

MATLAB Scripts

MATLAB is used extensively in this course: In the lectures, directly, but (mostly) as suggested extras. The scripts will be provided via a downloadable “toolkit”, with instructions for its use within a pre-existent MATLAB installation. From time to time, as new scripts are added (or older ones are modified) a new version of the toolkit will be made available.

The scripts are user friendly and come with the MATLAB help feature enabled: Once in MATLAB, the commands “help 385TC” and “help 18385” display a list of the available scripts, with a short description of what they do. Individual help is also available for each script. Note also that there is plenty more information buried in the comments inside each script.

The scripts are an integral part of the course. Students are expected to use them extensively.

Download MATLAB Toolkit

Download Toolkit_for_18385.zip (ZIP) (This zip file contains: 5 folders, 41 .m files and 2 .txt files.) or Toolkit_for_18385.tar (TAR). After you expand the download, you will get a folder with:

  1. A text file with installation instructions.
  2. A special MATLAB script needed for the installation.
  3. A folder with the toolkit scripts.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2014
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Lecture Notes