What You Need To Know About The MATLAB

 Portions of Math 20D and Math 20F

The MATLAB portion of Math 20D and 20F uses computer software to further explore the material and applications of the topics seen in class.  This page is intended to give you the information you should know about the MATLAB portion of the course.

MATLAB Assignments

You can find the assignments for by clicking here for Math 20D and here for Math 20F.  Assignments are to be turned in in the drop boxes for MATLAB in the basement of AP&M.  The assignment due dates are listed here.  We recommend completing MATLAB assignments in AP&M B432 (the location where tutors are stationed), but assignments may be completed on any computer with a compatible copy of MATLAB installed.  In particular, if AP&M B432 becomes full, you may use the computers in the two neighboring ACMS labs: AP&M B349 and AP&M B325.  If you prefer, you may purchase your own copy of MATLAB, but please be advised that the MATLAB assignments have only been tested on ACS computers.

You may also use the ACMS Virtual Computing Labs to access MATLAB.

You may spend as much time as you like on the MATLAB assignments, provided that they are submitted by the due dates. Click here for lab hours.

MATLAB Tutoring

MATLAB tutors will be available to provide help with MATLAB. Tutors will be stationed in AP&M B432 starting Monday, April 8th.  Click here for tutor hours.  Please note that regular MATLAB sections will NOT be held. 

The MATLAB Quiz

Finally, in addition to the assignments, a MATLAB quiz will be given at the end of the quarter.  The quiz will be held during your scheduled MATLAB time in AP&M B432, which is at the the same time as your regular section, only on Thursday if your regular section is on Tuesday, or Tuesday if your regular section is on Thursday.  You may also look up the time on Tritonlink.  If you are unable to make the scheduled time, you will be able to schedule an alternate time online. 

That should cover the bare minimum you need to know for the MATLAB sections.  If you have other questions, please browse the FAQ below or e-mail the
senior MATLAB TA.



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Contents:
  (star = most frequently asked)

1. Getting Started
i.  How do I log into an ACS PC?
ii.  How do I run MATLAB and Microsoft Word?
iii.  Can we use a text-editor other than Microsoft Word?
iv.  Where should I save files?
v.  How do I print?
vi.  Where can I find information about the MATLAB quiz?

2. The Usual Suspects

i.  I can't seem to copy my graph into my Word document.  Why not?
ii.  Can I do the labs from home?
iii.  I'm using MATLAB on my home computer and the results I get don't seem to agree with the lab tells me I should be getting.  What's wrong?
star iv.  I'm working through an example and I've typed every command into MATLAB perfectly and in the order given in the lab, but I'm still getting errors.  What might be the problem?
star v.  Some of the assignments use color in the graphs.  Does this mean we have to print in color?

3.  Additional Help:
i.  Whom should I ask if I need MATLAB help?
ii.  Whom should I ask if I need MATLAB help and my TA is not around?
iii.  Whom should I ask if I'm having trouble with the ACS computers?
iv.  When can I access AP&M B432?



1.  Getting Started

    i.  How do I log into an ACS PC?
Choose a PC and move the mouse or press a key to bring up the login screen.  Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete.  Now log in with your regular ACS account login and password.  This means that your login is the first part of your UCSD email address, the part before the @ucsd.edu.  Your password is the password you use to check your email.  If you can't remember what this is, either contact a tutor (in AP&M B432) or a Zebra (CLICS) (see Question 2.iii below) or visit http://acs.ucsd.edu/account-tools/need-password.php

If you are an extension student, you'll need to sign up for an account.  You can do this by visiting http://sdacs.ucsd.edu/~icc/ce.php.

If you have logged in, remember at the end to log out!  This is done by choosing START -> Log Off on a Windows machine.

     ii. How do I run MATLAB and Microsoft Word/Open Office?
Locate the START menu in the bottom-left of the screen.  Click on it and then move the mouse through the following string of popup menus:

START -> All Programs -> MATLAB 7.0.4 -> MATLAB 7.0.4

then click again.  This will run MATLAB.  Next we run Word:

START -> All Programs -> Microsoft Office -> Microsoft Office Word 2003

    iii.  Can we use text editors other than Microsoft Word?
Yes.  Any word processor will do the trick, but you should use something fairly sophisticated.  (Not Notepad, in other words.)  You will have to copy graphs into your file, so your work processor must be able to handle graphics. 

    iv.  Where should I save files?
If you don't have too much stored in your home directory (i.e. "My Documents" in Windows), you can save files in there.  Files in these home directories are saved to a separate file-server upon your logout and reloaded in upon your login.  This can take some time, so consider deleting unneeded items.  You may also save files in the additional "ma20dxx"/"ma20fxx" class-specific account storage space that is available under the "Class Resources" folder on your desktop area.

IMPORTANT: Do not leave files behind on the Windows "desktop area".  The desktop area is part of the "user profile" which is stored separately and may be subject to reset by ACMS (all such files will be LOST AND UNRECOVERABLE!).

    v.  How do I print?
See the discussion at the end of Lab 1.

    vi.  Where can I find information about the MATLAB quiz?
Click here.



2.  The Usual Suspects


    i.  I can't seem to copy my graph into my Word document.  Why not?
In Word, the most likely problem here is that you are using Copy instead of Copy Figure from the Edit menu.

    ii.  Can I do the labs from home?
You won't be able to do the labs through telnet or SSH because of the graphing aspects.  So, in order to work from home you will need to have MATLAB installed on your home computer.  You can purchase the Student Edition from the bookstore.  As a warning, however, see the next Question.

    iii.  I'm using MATLAB on my home computer and the results I get don't seem to agree with the lab tells me I should be getting.  What's wrong?
The labs are designed to be used on specific, on-campus ACS computers--the PCs and not the Macs--designated for Math 20D and Math 20F use.  You use any other computer at your own risk.  In theory, the assignments should work fine on any machine and even other recent versions of MATLAB, but this has not been extensively tested.

    iv.  I'm working through an example and I've typed every command into MATLAB perfectly and in the order given in the lab, but I'm still getting errors.  What might be the problem?
First of all, make sure you're really typing in the command exactly as it appears in the lab by copying and pasting the text rather than trying to re-type it yourself.  Often, you'll miss small characters like dots and commas, or else you'll miss a vital parenthesis.
    When copying and pasting the text, remember not to copy the prompt symbol (>>).  Just copy and paste the text of the command, given in red.
    In general, it is a good idea to start a fresh session of MATLAB before beginning any lab assignment.  So if you have been
A.    working on multiple assignments in a row,
B.    doing other work in MATLAB, or
C.    making a lot of mistakes requiring you to go back and redo much of the lab,
then it might be a good idea to close MATLAB and open it back up again.  If you are in the middle of an assignment already, though, use this as a last resort, since this effectively erases all the work you've already done in the lab.  You'll have to start over from the beginning of the Example or Exercise you were working on.

    v.  Some of the assignments use color in the graphs.  Does this mean we have to print in color?
No, a black and white printout will be just fine.



3.  Additional Help

    i.  Whom should I ask if I need MATLAB help?
If you have tried the helpbrowser and scanned this FAQ, and you still have not gotten your question answered, ask a MATLAB tutor.  If the tutor looks really busy, try asking a neighbor.  If you're working when a tutor is not around, see the next Question.

    ii.  Whom should I ask if I need MATLAB help and a tutor is not around?
First a quick DO NOT.  Do not email your lab to your TA (unless you've gotten their approval beforehand).  You can ask your TA their policy on MATLAB help over email.  Since the tutors are in the lab at specific times, this is the truly best time to get their help.  Some procedures are just too difficult to describe in text.  You might find other Math 20F and Math 20D students in the lab at odd hours and you can try talking to them.

    iii.  Whom should I ask if I'm having trouble with the ACS computers?
If a tutor is around, point out the problem to her/him.  They might know a quick solution.  If something like a monitor/keyboard/mouse seems broken, fill out an ACS Problem Report and place it on the computer.  You should be able to find these forms in the labs somewhere, or at the main Desk if you're in CLICS.  This will save the next person that tries to use that computer a headache.

    iv.  When can I access AP&M B432?
AP&M B432, AP&M B349, and AP&M B325 remain unlocked from 7:00 am - 10:00 pm on Sunday-Thursday, and 7:00 am - 5:00 pm on Friday-Saturday.   If you wish to obtain access after those times, you can obtain the OMNI-lock code by visiting https://sdacs.ucsd.edu/~icc/index.php and entering your account name and PID.  In the facilities list, locate AP&M B432 and click the link on the right.



Last modified:

04/02/2013