Everyone says the best way to learn a language is to learn it
hands on; computing languages are no different.
The Center for Computational Research (CCR) and MathWorks teamed
up this last April and May to offer a series of MATLAB
presentations and workshops.
MATLAB, or matrix laboratory, is a numerical computing
environment and high-performance programming language. It
integrates computation, visualization and programming in an
easy-to-use environment where problems and solutions are expressed
in familiar mathematical notations.
The seminar series began as a joint effort between Mathworks and
CCR. The two sessions were held on March 21 and 22 in Clemens 120
and given by Mehernaz Savai, a MathWorks engineer, and Debbi Cohen,
a MathWorks account manager. The first demo, entitled “Data
Analysis and Visualization using MATLAB,” taught
approximately 85 faculty, staff and students in attendance tasks
such as importing data into MATLAB, building graphic user
interfaces (GUIs) and generating reports and automating
“Sessions and workshops [like these] are part of the
CCR’s mission to enable research and scholarships at
UB,” said CCR Systems Analyst Cynthia Cornelius. CCR’s
mission statement matches those sentiments, stressing the
importance of “providing faculty with access to
high-performance computing and visualization resources” and
“[providing] education, outreach, and training in Western New
The March 22 session, a demo on Parallel Computing with MATLAB,
yielded approximately 45 attendees. Between the first two days,
Cynthia estimated the audience was about five to 10 percent
Following the completion of the sessions, attendees were given
the opportunity to work with MATLAB hands-on at two workshops on
April 8 and 10. Attendees brought their own laptops and learned how
to create and submit code through MATLAB’s Distributed
Computing Server (MDCS).
CCR’s Dr. Nate Barlow gave both workshop sessions in
April. The attendance for the April 8 and April 10 sessions were 17
and seven, respectively, and attended by a receptive group of grad
students and post-doctorate students.
“I would say it was very positive,” said Nate.
“Maybe 60 percent of people had already used MATLAB before
and were pretty comfortable with it, and they were just coming to
learn what the latest and greatest is that had been added to the
new version, but they had really good questions.”
This isn’t the last of seminars from CCR. According to
Cynthia, comments from the attendees showed the sessions were a
success, and now Nate and Cynthia are planning to give another
MATLAB workshop on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 with Dr. Shawn Mattot.
The new sessions will focus on using MATLAB’s parallel
computing toolbox, as well as the MATLAB Distributing Computing
“I think what we’ll be doing will be talking about
the parallel computing toolbox and most of the talk will focus on
that,” said Nate. “That is something that everybody on
campus that has the UB-licensed MATLAB has access to, so that will
get the widest audience.”
Additionally, future workshops on graphics processing units
(GPUs) and big data/Hadoop are currently under development.
For more information on the October 1 session, please visit CCR's website. Additional sessions will
be scheduled in the near future.