MATLAB FAQ


This page offers answers to a variety of common questions. Select your question below to jump directly to the answer.

Getting Started

  1. When can I access the MATLAB labs?
  2. How do I log in to an ETS computer?
  3. How do I run MATLAB and Microsoft Word?
  4. Can I use a word processor other than Microsoft Word?
  5. Why can't I copy my graph into my Word document?
  6. Where should I save files?
  7. How do I print?
  8. Am I supposed to print in color? Some of the graphs from MATLAB use colors.
  9. Where can I find information about the MATLAB quiz?

Working from Home

  1. Can I do the labs from home?
  2. I'm using MATLAB on my home computer, and my results don't match what the lab says I should be getting. What's wrong?

Getting Help

  1. Whom should I ask if I need MATLAB help?
  2. What if I need help and there are no tutors in the MATLAB lab?
  3. Whom should I talk to if I'm having trouble with the ETS computers?

Getting Started

  1. When can I access the MATLAB lab?

    APM B432 and APM B349 remain unlocked from 7 am to 10 pm from Sunday to Thursday; they are open from 7 am to 5 pm on Friday and Saturday. On weekends, the doors to AP&M are locked, but you can open them by inserting your student ID into the card reader near the doors on either the north or the south side of the building and then pressing the automatic door button.

  2. How do I log in to an ETS computer?

    The ETS computers in the MATLAB lab require your usual ETS account username and password. Your username is the first part of your UCSD email address (before the @ucsd.edu). Your password is the same as your email password. If you can't remember it, visit this page. Extension students will need to sign up for an account here.

  3. How do I run MATLAB and Microsoft Word?

    Open the Start menu at the bottom-left corner of the screen and begin typing either "matlab" or "word" to begin a search for these programs. To open MATLAB, choose the result that begins with "MATLAB r20___"; do not use the "Activate" or "Deactivate" programs.

  4. Can I use a word processor other than Microsoft Word?

    Yes. Any word processor will do the trick as long as it can handle graphics. (In other words, a simple text editor like Notepad won't suffice.)

  5. Why can't I copy my graph into my Word document?

    The problem is most likely that you're using Copy instead of Copy Figure from MATLAB's Edit menu.

  6. Where should I save my files?

    When working in the on-campus labs, feel free to use your home directory ("My Documents" in Windows). These files will be automatically copied to a separate file server when you log out, so that you can access them from any other ETS computer. You can also use online storage, like Dropbox, or removable storage, such as flash drives.

  7. How do I print?

    See the end of Lab 1 for instructions.

  8. Am I supposed to print in color? Some of the graphs from MATLAB use colors.

    No. Black and white is fine.

  9. Where can I find information about the MATLAB quiz?

    On the Main page, scroll down.

Working from Home

  1. Can I do the labs from home?

    You can. Instructions for obtaining a student MATLAB license for free from the university in order to install the software on your own computer are available here. Alternatively, you could take advantage of UCSD's Virtual Computing Lab. If you follow the instructions on the VCL page, you will be able to access MATLAB on your own computer as long as you're connected to a secured UCSD network (such as UCSD-PROTECTED or RESNET-College-E wireless). If you wish to access the software from off campus, you will need to first connect via a VPN.

  2. I'm using MATLAB on my home computer, and my results don't match what the lab says I should be getting. What's wrong?

    By far the most likely explanation is that you simply made a mistake. If you're using your own MATLAB license, it's also possible that your version of MATLAB doesn't match the one installed in the ETS labs. Unfortunately, the TAs, tutors, and instructors cannot offer assistance on any computers except those in the the designated MATLAB labs. You use any other computer at your own risk.

Getting Help

  1. Whom should I ask if I need MATLAB help?

    If you've looked through MATLAB's help browser and have scanned this FAQ but you still have not gotten your question answered, ask a MATLAB tutor. If the tutor is busy helping someone else, you can also ask a neighbor. If you're working when tutors are not around, see the next question.

  2. What if I need help and there are no tutors in the MATLAB lab?

    Firstly, do not email your lab to your TA to ask for help unless you've gotten their approval beforehand. The best way to get help is to work in the MATLAB lab when tutors are scheduled to be there, since some procedures are too difficult to describe in text alone. You might find that other students in the lab can help you out as well. If you're in the lab and a tutor is not present when he or she is supposed to be, please report the situation to the Senior MATLAB TA.

  3. Whom should I talk to if I'm having trouble with the ETS computers?

    Please point out the problem to a tutor if one is around; he or she might know a quick solution. If there is a hardware issue (for example, a keyboard or monitor seems broken), there should be a stack of ETS Problem Report sheets in the lab somewhere; please fill one out and place it on the computer.


Last Modified: 16 September 2016