Basic Elements of MATLAB Programming

by Aarushi Singh
Basic Elements of MATLAB Programming

MATLAB programming is a technical language used to solve mathematical problems. MATLAB stands for ‘Matrix Laboratory’, and it was developed by MathWorks. It combines numeric computation, graphics processing, and high-level programming languages into an integrated computing environment. This environment allows users to work with matrices, arrays, data analysis tools, engineering applications, statistical analysis packages, etc.

Basic Elements of MATLAB Programming

MATLAB programming is composed of several basic elements that make up the language’s structure: variables, functions, control statements (if-else), input/output operations (IO), user interfaces (UIs), GUI elements (graphics window), and persistence components (persistent variables). In this blog post I am going to discuss each of these elements in more detail.


Variables are storage locations that contain variable values or constant numbers referred to as objects. Variables are the core data entities which can take on different values during a program execution process. They can be created and assigned new values at any point during the program execution depending upon the programmer’s requirement and given conditions.


Functions are predefined operations that allow us to perform a variety of tasks in a MATLAB program. A function can be called from anywhere within a program; only its name needs to be passed in order to invoke it. Some functions are built-in while others need to be developed separately using specific code instructions; they must also be associated with unique names before they can be used in a program.

Control Statements:

Control statements like if-else blocks help us modify the flow of the program based on certain conditions specified by directly writing them inside the codebase or through associated variables. 

These control statements have varying implementations such as C/C++ switch…case , Go switch , Python if elif else , MATLAB if else keyword combination among other high-level language commands/queries which define when they should work and how their code block should behave when run by an executing engine instance under their guidance .

Input/Output Operations: 

Input & output operations like reading text files from disk or creating variable outputs define how interactive programs and scripts behave accordingly with various required inputs from either the user’s terminal or auxiliary input systems like databases & APIs . 

We also use such I/O operations for any type of comparison tests between two different dynamism patterns, for example redundant characters finding algorithms in two different strings via comparing both at once .


MATLAB has a powerful plotting functionality that allows you to create different types of graphs and visualisations. You can use the plot function for 2D line plots, the surf function for 3D surface plots, or the scatter function for scatter plots. With these functions, you can customise your plots by changing the colour, size, and shape of the markers, adding labels, and changing the axes’ limits.


MATLAB offers various operators that can be used to perform mathematical operations on matrices and arrays. These operators can be arithmetic, logical, or relational. Arithmetic operators include addition (+), subtraction (-), multiplication (*), and division (/). Logical operators include AND (&&), OR (||), and NOT (~), while relational operators include greater than (>), less than (<), and equals to (==).


MATLAB offers many features that make numerical computing and scientific visualisation easy and accessible. By mastering these basic elements of MATLAB programming, you can create efficient and effective programs that can handle large amounts of data, perform complex mathematical operations, and generate high-quality visualisations. Good Luck!

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