HMC Math 73: Linear Algebra (Spring, 1999)
Instructions for MATLAB problems


Note that the ML problems require you to use MATLAB. Don't panic. MATLAB is a really easy matrix manipulation computer package, and chaper 10 of your text has a nice introduction to it. MATLAB is available on various platforms, and should be easy to find in various local computer labs. Most people in the class seem to have found it, so your classmates might be the best people to ask for help getting started or printing (I'm happy to try to help, but will do better with program-specific questions once you've got MATLAB running). If it's installed on whatever UNIX box you have handy, you can run it simply by typing "matlab" at the command prompt. You can also check out these easy (?) instructions for using MATLAB and m-files on Kato. Once in the program, you can start a log of your MATLAB session by typing "diary on" at your MATLAB prompt. This automatically logs your session into a text file called "diary". Note that the diary is saved in MATLAB's current working directory. You can use "dir" or "ls" to get a directory listing, and use the standard DOS/UNIX "cd" command to change the working directory. You should be sure that the working directory is one of your own to avoid permission trouble. The diary is what you should turn in, either attached to the rest of your assignment or e-mailed to grader Myya. If you're printing it and are able, print it out in a nice small (but still ledgible) font size to conserve paper. Also, you are welcome (and strongly encouraged!) to edit your diary file after you're done with MATLAB to remove any errors, help messages, or anythying else extraneous to the assignment at hand. You may also add problem numbers to the text, or write them on your printout afterwards, but please indicate somewhere which problem is which in the diary printout.
Typing "help" at the MATLAB prompt gives you a list of general topics, and typing "help ops" (for example) gives you a list of MATLAB commands under that topic. Hopefully you won't have any trouble figuring it out, but you're welcome to come to me for help if you do.
As for working together on the MATLAB part of the assignment, working in groups should be very limited. You're welcome to ask your classmates questions about how to do things, but you should turn in YOUR OWN WORK DONE ON YOUR PERSONAL SESSION ON MATLAB. All persons using photocopiers or copying diary files will be sacked.
Let me know if you're having any troubles of any sort with MATLAB. I'd like to get this working smoothly for everyone, and have heard more than one person complaining about having to use some really inefficient work-around to acomplish something (like cut-and-pasting their session because they can't get the diary to work). I can't promise I'll be able to fix your problem, but I'd like to at least know about it so I can address it here and make some effort to resolve it. Thanks.

-Prof. Greg