MATLAB (matrix laboratory) is a multi-paradigm numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language. A proprietary programming language developed by MathWorks, MATLAB allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other languages, including C, C++, C#, Java, Fortran and Python.

Although MATLAB is intended primarily for numerical computing, an optional toolbox uses the MuPAD symbolic engine, allowing access to symbolic computing abilities. An additional package, Simulink, adds graphical multi-domain simulation and model-based design for dynamic and embedded systems.

In 2004, MATLAB had around one million users across industry and academia.MATLAB users come from various backgrounds of engineering, science, and economics.
MATLAB was first adopted by researchers and practitioners in control engineering, Little’s specialty, but quickly spread to many other domains. It is now also used in education, in particular the teaching of linear algebra, numerical analysis, and is popular amongst scientists involved in image processing.


The MATLAB application is built around the MATLAB scripting language. Common usage of the MATLAB application involves using the Command Window as an interactive mathematical shell or executing text files containing MATLAB code.