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Introduction to MATLAB

Organizers: Jean-François Knebel, Meritxell Bach-Cuadra and Marzia De Lucia





This course is an introduction to the elements and practicalities of computer programming through the MATLAB mathematical computing environment. No previous programming experience is required (students already familiar with the topics described here after are discouraged to take the course). At the end of the course students will have the basics for using MATLAB in their own project work.


The course is organized in six sessions, each of them include one hour of theory and two hours of hands-on exercises. The topics are organized as follows:


Session 1

  • Course description
  • Introduction to Matlab
  • User interface
  • Path directory and ‘Help’
  • Vectors and Matrices
  • Arithmetic operators and basic functions
  • Miscelaneous (case sensitive, displayed numbers)
  • Examples of what Matlab can do for you


  • Reminder of basic functions
  • Other more complex functions
  • Basic programming (if-else-end, for-end, while-end)
  • User interaction (disp, input)
  • Hands on session with exercises

Session 3

  • Structures & cells
  • Importing / exporting data (reading / writing text files, csv & xls files)
  • Saving / loading data (MAT files)
  • Hands on session with exercises
  • Define and analyze needs of your own project


Session 4
Students present the MATLAB projects they would like to implement for the final exam in the context of their research interests and needs.

Session 5

  • Plots
  • Scripting (use of comments %%) and M-files
  • Share of code and scripts in Mathworks
  • Hands on session with exercises
  • Start to develop your own project (1 hour)

Session 6
Develop your own project. This is a hands-on-session where students develop their matlab project with the help of the organizers.

Sessions 7 & 8
Exam session.


The course will take place in the room Micropolis, Rue du Bugnon 23, Lausanne. This is number 4 in this map:

pdf   Bugnon_Campus.pdf  (200 Kb)


Schedule Spring 2014

Lectures and practical sessions:

  • Thursday 10 Avril 2014 (9-12h)
  • Thursday 17 Avril 2014 (9-12h)
  • Wednesday 30 April (13h-16h)
  • Thursday 8 Mai 2014 (9-12h)
  • Thursday 15 Mai 2014 (9-12h)
  • Thursday 22 Mai 2014 (9-12h)

 Exam sessions:

  • Thursday 19 Juin 2014 (9h-12h)
  • Friday 20 Juin 2014 (13h-16h)


Participants will be requested to develop a short project using MATLAB, related to their own research activity.
Evaluation criteria:

  • Clear and precise definition of the research context and goals of the project
  • Students should be able to run completely the program and discuss the results
  • Students must present their code and results in a presentation format and should be able to explain all steps of the code
  • Both presentation and code quality will be evaluated (code should be clear and commented)

The participation to Session 1 to 6 (included) is mandatory to be accepted for the exam Session.


The course is limited to 20 participants. Register until April 3 by writing a mail to lndscourses@gmail.com (with your supervisor in copy) and stating "Introduction to MATLAB" as subject.

 in this site:

FBM Doctoral School - Amphipôle 316 - CH-1015 Lausanne  - Switzerland  -  Phone +41 21 692 40 14