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MATLAB (matrix laboratory) is a numerical computing environment and fourth-generation 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++, and Fortran. An additional package, Simulink, adds graphical multi-domain simulation and Model-Based Design for dynamic and embedded systems.

MATLAB can be used on personal computers and powerful server systems, including the Cheaha compute cluster. With the addition of the Parallel Computing Toolbox, the language can be extended with parallel implementations for common computational functions, including for-loop unrolling. Additionally this toolbox supports offloading computationally intensive workloads to Cheaha the campus compute cluster.

In January 2011, UAB acquired a site license for MATLAB that allows faculty, staff, post-docs, and graduate students to use MATLAB, Simulink, and 42 toolboxes (including the parallel toolbox) for research activities on campus and personal systems. Additionally, MATLAB is available to students on campus computer systems.


Installing MATLAB

Installing Mathworks software available under the UAB campus license involves three steps: the download and install steps common to all software packages and an authorization step that grants you the rights to use the software under the campus agreement. While straight forward, there a several authorization scenarios designed to support a variety of user communities. These scenarios are often daunting to navigate, especially for those new to MATLAB and unfamiliar with the variety of environments in which MATLAB can operate.

Install Scenarios

In an effort to simplify the software installation and get you working with MATLAB as quickly as possible, we have developed three install scenarios to help you decide the best installation for your needs. Most on-campus users are encouraged to use the first option unless there are special circumstances.

  1. Simplified MATLAB Install - This is the recommended install when MATLAB will be used on computers that remain connected to the campus network. This installation still requires MATLAB to be downloaded and installed, but provides a simple activation process that amounts to adding a static 2-line file after the software is installed your computer. This option is highly recommend.
  2. Matlab Designated Computer Install - This is the recommended install for mobile computing systems that may not be connected to any network when MATLAB is being used. This install type authorizes an individual computer to run MATLAB, allowing MATLAB to run regardless of where the computer is located.
  3. Matlab Network Concurrent User Install - This installation is only recommended for system administrators who already manage lab or departmental installation of MATLAB and would like to continue to provide this service for their user community. This install type may also be practical if there are special additional license needs that will apply multiply computers running MATLAB. At present, all MATLAB toolboxes actively used at UAB are covered under the UAB TAH license.

Downloading MATLAB

In order to install Mathworks software on your computer, you must install download it from the Mathworks web site. This requires each user installing the software to establish a free account at Mathworks using your UAB-assigned email address. After this account is established, you must follow two steps:

1. Associate your account with the UAB Mathworks site license 1. Requesting download rights from a UAB Mathworks site license administrator

These steps are common to all install scenarios and are detailed in Downloading and Installing MATLAB.

We are working to simplify these steps and will update this documentation as improvements are introduced.

Getting Started with MATLAB

Parallel Computing Extensions

Connecting to Cheaha

UAB Mathworks Inc. Site License

UAB has acquired a university wide site license for MATLAB and Simulink software. This license includes all Mathworks Inc. products in use at UAB, with the exception of the Distributed Computing Server (DCS) which must be licensed separately. This new site license also makes available several new toolboxes and blocksets not previously licensed by UAB.

This site license is known as the Mathworks Inc. Total Academic Headcount (TAH) license or Mathworks TAH. Mathworks TAH will make it easier for everyone in the UAB community to use MATLAB, MATLAB Toolboxes (extensions) and Simulink software. Specifically, it authorizes use of MATLAB on university owned machines for all faculty, staff and students. Faculty and staff are also entitled to install the software on personally owned computers.

The TAH allows unlimited use MATLAB, Simlink and the 42 MATLAB Toolboxes in both research and teaching activities. Faculty and staff can install the software on computers located off-campus, however, students may only use Mathworks software on UAB owned computers computers located on-campus.

UAB was the first university in Alabama to implement a Mathworks TAH license.

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