Learning resources: MATLAB

How to Use these Resources

Like many programming languages and development environments, some of MATLAB's features and syntax evolve over time.  As a result, even when a reference below has good overall pedagogic clarity, it may still contain some dated pieces of information. Curating all such points in all the references below is not feasible, but simply being aware of the possibility and employing some "defensive reading" should be enough to help identify outdated pieces you may encounter.  Luckily, for resources from the past decade or so, those pieces are few and far between.

Our advice: be mindful of the year when a given resource was created (or last revised) and compare it with the release date of the version of MATLAB you are using (Wikipedia has a full release history of different MATLAB versions for reference). And when in doubt about a particular piece of information is up to date, consult the official MATLAB documentation and release notes from MathWorks (the makers of MATLAB).


Advice on How to Learn MATLAB

MathWorks maintains a user-community forum called MATLAB Central.  It is highly active and contains a mix of useful videos and StackOverflow-style moderated Q&A sections.  You might gain some efficiency over regular web searches by looking for answers to questions there or posting your own question -- the community is in general helpful and receptive both to basic and advanced topics.

Among the pages there are two excellent sticky-post with an aggregation of useful advice from long-time MATLAB users about:



Getting Started with MATLAB -- 10 min introductory video with examples, from Mathworks (the makers of MATLAB)

MATLAB Fundamentals by MathWorks -- online course available in instructor-led format or as a self-paced online course

Software Carpentry video series on MATLAB programming (2011) -- a series of 10 short videos (each under ~8 mins) from software-carpentry.org explaining different aspects of MATLAB to beginners

Some useful & relatively recent YouTube videos for MATLAB beginners (video 1 and video 2) -- longer form introductory videos by MATLAB users, each ~1 hour in length.

MATLAB for Data Processing & Visualization by MathWorks -- more intermediate-level online course available in instructor-led format or as a self-paced online course

MATLAB for Deep Learning by MathWorks -- advanced online video tutorial series on using MATLAB for machine learning

MathWorks Video Library -- a comprehensive collection of videos covering introductory to advanced MATLAB programming topics and use-cases.  Regularly updated.

Official MATLAB YouTube Channel -- self-explanatory.  Lots of content, nicely organized into playlists (particularly on advanced topics and machine learning applications)


Self-paced online courses

MATLAB Onramp short online course by MathWorks (the makers of MATLAB) -- a free 2-hour self-paced online course from MathWorks.  Mix of videos and written materials

Introduction to MATLAB from MIT Open Courseware (2019) -- complete undergraduate course in MATLAB programming from MIT, complete with lecture notes, assignments, and exercises

Introduction to MATLAB Programming from MIT Open Courseware (2011) -- different undergraduate course than the one above, somewhat older but still good, taught from a different perspective

Intro to MATLAB Programming Courseware by MathWorks -- a free set of instructional materials from MathWorks for an introductory MATLAB course. Aimed at advanced high school students but still a good resource for self-paced instruction, with assignments and exercises all included.


Web pages / written online tutorials

A Short Introduction to MATLAB (2015) -- from Southern Methodist University (SMU) (~25 pages)

A Brief Introduction to MATLAB (2006) -- slightly older resource from Stanford University (~30 pages)

A Quick Tutorial on MATLAB -- PDF slide deck that reviews MATLAB basics by example (~40 pages)

Introduction to MATLAB for Engineering Students (2005) -- short online book in PDF format.  A bit older, but more comprehensive than the above tutorials (~75 pages)



MATLAB for Beginners: A Gentle Approach, by Peter Kattan -- targeted at people relatively new to programming in general

MATLAB: A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving by Stormy Attaway -- teaches general programming alongside a comprehensive introduction to MATLAB. The 5th edition is current with MATLAB release up to early 2018 and thus fairly up to date (changes to MATLAB since then have been almost entirely on the backend).


MATLAB Programming for Engineers, 6th ed, by Stephen J. Chapman -- MathWorks recommends this book

BookAuthority lists of MATLAB books (beginner list and general list)--  3rd-party curated lists of MATLAB books ranging from beginner-level books to texts on specialized advanced topics (including high-performance MATLAB in different disciplines)