Matlab and Octave are the names for a high-level computational package primarily intended for solving problems in linear algebra, and are mostly compatible with each other. While Matlab is only commercially available, Octave is free under the terms of the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License.

When Matlab/Octave is invoked, the prompt will appear on the screen

Then type at the prompt
> A = [1 -2 1; 0 2 -8; -4 5 9]
where the semicolons (;) are used as delimiters. Or, you may enter the same data as follows:
> A = [1 -2 1
0 2 -8
-4 5 9]
In either way the system will promptly produce the formatted output, and recognize it as the matrix
A =
   1  -2   1
   0   2  -8
  -4   5   9

To exit Matlab/Octave, type

> exit

Matlab/Octave is an interactive system: For example, if ``x = 3.14'' then you can later find the value of ``x'' interactively by simply typing ``x''.

Installing Octave. GNU Octave is available for Windows and Linux (but not for Mac). Sources and binaries can be found at Windows users may proceed the installation by simply downloading and running


Or, go to

and look for a new version of ``octave-X.X.XX-windows.''


Department of Mathematics
Last modified: 2005-10-21