MATLAB (short for MATrix LABoratory, ‘matrix laboratory’) is a mathematical software for technical and scientific calculation. It was created by Cleve Moler in 1984.
MATLAB is a program specially designed to perform numerical calculations with vectors and matrices, which are fundamental in order to solve engineering and science problems. In addition, one of its most attractive features is to facilitate the realization of a wide variety of graphics in two and three dimensions.
MATLAB also has its own high-level programming language (M language). In short, it is a great tool to develop technical applications, widely used in the field of engineering and easy to handle.
They can extend the capabilities of the basic module of MATLAB with the toolboxes (toolboxes) that consist of expansion packages of the basic software and that are applicable to certain fields of science: mathematics in general (optimization, databases, statistics, equations differentials, neural networks), signal processing, image processing, data acquisition, finance, control systems, etc.
MATLAB is an open source software that can be related to other applications, such as Excel, C, Fortran, etc. As an example, programs written in MATLAB can be translated into C language immediately.
Octave or GNU Octave is a free software for numerical calculations that also has its own programming language. Its version 1.0 appeared in 1994. It is considered the free equivalent of MATLAB, since although there are certain syntactic differences, most are due to the fact that Octave is broader and admits some syntax that MATLAB does not allow. Then, if MATLAB syntax is used, the programs will work in both software.