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This course is scheduled in Trinity term.

This is a 6 week ONLINE course starting on 8 May and finishing on 19 June 2019.

Applications for this course have now closed.


This course aims to give students a good understanding of the MATLAB programming language, and the use of MATLAB in data analysis, numerical calculus, linear algebra and the solution of ODEs. Where applicable, a revision of elements of A-level mathematics needed for these areas is provided. Elements of software engineering are covered to give students the ability to write well-structured code, as well as how to use MATLAB to present your work using movies or Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs).


The course comprises 6 units of study. The first three are compulsory and must be completed as a condition of accepting a place on the course. Following completion of the first three units there will be an online assessment. All 6 units will be available to complete online for a period of 6 weeks.

Units 4,5 and 6 are more advanced units and completion is optional.

You will need to have least A-level maths in order to complete this course.

An online tutor will be available at specific times each week to answer your queries.



Unit 1:    Basic introduction to MATLAB

 * In this introductory unit you will learn the basics of MATLAB, from how to start MATLAB through to how to use it to write simple code  and to use basic graphic capabilities of MATLAB. The aim of this unit is for you to acquire a familiarity with MATLAB and to learn a few basic commands.

Unit 2:    Data analysis, image analysis and basic statistics in MATLAB

 * Data analysis and statistics are the cornerstones of most quantitative disciplines. MATLAB has many inbuilt commands  for calculating statistics from large data-sets. In this unit we will look at some of the MATLAB inbuilt statistical  commands and also use of MATLAB to perform some common data analysis techniques. By the end of the unit you should be able  to perform simple statistical analyses on data-sets and have gained an understanding of how to use MATLAB to generate  various types of random samples. We will also learn how to read data (including images) into MATLAB, how to display  this data, how to process this data and how to write the data back to a file.

Unit 3:    Basic calculus in MATLAB

 * The purpose of this unit is to use MATLAB to carry out many of the analytical mathematical techniques that you know. We will look at traditional methods of numerical differentiation and integration as well as root-finding algorithms. Also included is a section on Fourier series which allow  discontinuous functions to be approximated by sums of continuous functions. The aim of the unit is to show you how to use MATLAB to undertake all these  operations and also to give you practice in creating MATLAB functions.


Optional Further Units:

Unit 4:    Linear algebra in MATLAB

 * The solution of systems of linear equations forms the basis of many techniques in applied mathematics and statistics, so numerical  linear algebra forms perhaps the most important set of tools in scientific programming. MATLAB has been developed specifically to handle matrix and vector  operations (hence its name is  A Portmanteau of Matrix and Laboratory), and has some particularly efficient and effective inbuilt commands to enable the  easy manipulation of matrices and vectors, and very straightforward solutions of linear systems (and hence of nonlinear systems).  The aim of this unit is to show you how to use the inbuilt functionality to manipulate vectors and matrices and to solve the linear system Ax=b. More  importantly, you will see which methods are appropriate in which situation.

Unit 5:    Solving ODEs in MATLAB

 * Systems of Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs) are used to model many physical and biological systems. MATLAB contains a collection of ODE solvers, which are ideal for investigating such systems. The aim of this unit is to enable you to understand and use these solvers. In addition you will see how to tell which solver is appropriate in which situation.

Unit 6:    Software engineering and scientific computing

 * This unit contains exercises designed to show you how to produce well-structured and efficient code. It is also important to be able to represent the results of your work in the best possible way. In this unit you will therefore also learn how to construct a simple Graphical User Interface (GUI) for your code and how to produce movies in MATLAB to present your results.


6 Weeks