# 1 Introduction

The MATLAB programming language is commonly used in engineering and scientific computation. I wrote this book to give first year students a basic introduction to MATLAB syntax and algorithmic thinking. This is by no means a comprehensive resource. It is meant to get students started and allow them to transition to more complex material.

The book is structured as a tutorial rather than a reference. The MATLAB documentation is extensive and so my focus will be to outline basic algorithmic thinking and MATLAB syntax with explicit examples. I encourage students to work through the chapters in order as each new concept builds on previous material.

The initial chapters require only basic algebra and geometry, so they are accessible to students at any point in their math sequence. Many of the problems in these chapters will seem simple or tedious. They are. The purpose is to separate the skill that you wish to develop (MATLAB programming) from other skills which need to be developed. The simple problems allow you to focus on the hard work of communicating with the computer. Once you’re comfortable with that, *then* you try to apply algorithmic thinking to more interesting problems.

Later chapters demonstrate some more advanced features in simple, accessible examples.

For immediate access, this book may be downloaded in PDF format.

The original LaTeX files may be downloaded from the GitHub repository.