data analysis and programming MatLab training?


My supervisor has identified I have a lack of experience in data anlaysis and programming -specifically MatLab. I am 2 years into a part time PhD and this issue has only just been mentioned. My university does not offer training in this area and my BSc did not cover this in any great depth. I have never used MatLab for example. Somehow I am supposed to acquire the skills and training but have had no advice as to where I can find this training. (Maybe they thought I was born with this knowledge!) Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Do any other universities take external students on their training courses? I have contacted a few that do run intro to MatLsb courses for their graduate students but no luck.:-(


======= Date Modified 07 May 2011 10:27:17 =======
Hi Salsaroc

Are there any undergraduate MATLAB classes/ tutorials that you can join?
Are there any other graduate students who are using MATLAB that can teach you?
There are also some tutorials in the internet or youtube or the 'Help' file that you can try to study by yourself if you have the software(although it is much harder than studying it in a class).


Hi Huhu
thanks for replying. No matlab undergrad courses or tutorials - that was my initial thoughts. There are other postgrads in my dept. who do use MatLab but they haven't been too helpful. I guess they have either been through this issue or they happened to do a BSc which covered MatLab.
I had to buy a version of MatLAb (incidentally via a friend at another university). I have been struggling along with a book and the online tutorials but feel I could make more progress in a class/personal tutorial situation.
This issue is actually only one of a long series of "hoops" I have had to climb through with little support or advice. I guess that is part of a PhD


I know nothing about MatLab (not even sure I know what it is!) but myself and other colleagues have taken courses and modules at other universities. We are part of a Graduate Education programme and I guess that is one of its plus amidst all the negatives. A colleague of mine has given, and taken computer courses at different universties, in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. It would probably be up to you to find the course and then make a case to your supervisor, or team. This is what we have done if we spotted a course not part of the regular modules available to us. If you are on a funding programme you could argue that the course be paid for you. Otherwise your department might even part-pay for a course. Otherwise you would have to decide if you are willing to pay - paying for modules is usually expensive. A lot depends on the mindset of your supv or team. Graduate Education programmes are pretty common in the States and are being introduced across Europe as well. However I know the supv of a colleague said to her when she pitched the idea of taking a module elsewhere "there's a big building over there called the library"! Not entirely helpful!

Good luck with your search


Hi, I know you said you have tried using a book but as with all books some are more helpful than others. Have you tried this one "Matlab: A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving"? I had limited matlab knowledge when I started my PhD even though I had taken a few classes in it so I bought this book and found it very helpful. Maybe your library has a copy, if not it's available quite cheap on amazon.


Hello Salsaroc,

You can also go directly to Matlab's website, They offer webinars and user support. You can ask questions and the smarty-pantsy guys there can help you.

Unfortunately this situation is all too common. Sups let you know the major thing you should be able to do not before your phd but by the middle of it. Kinda sucks. I stopped wasting time figuring out why.

Wish you luck.


Hi Salsaroc,

One of the best things about Matlab is that it is relatively easy to teach yourself with a bit of support. There are huge amounts of free electronic resources out there, but sometimes it's good to just try and develop a network of other users who you can turn to for help. The Mathsworks community is a good one, although I've seen them be a bit snobby. Sometimes the problem can be solved by resorting to general programming principles. Matlab has excellent inbuilt functions which really help for all kinds of problems. What kind of analysis do you have to do? Knowing what problem you face might make it easier to look for tailored resources because the knowledge base out there for matlab is huge. Also it's such an excellent skill to graduate with. I hated matlab to start with but I'm really glad I stuck at it. I'm still only a 'beginner' compared to others I know but it's really worth the steep learning curve. if you want to chat about any part of it feel free to drop me a pm.