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PVNet gratefully thanks MathWorks for providing MATLAB licenses to our students in support of their STEM Education Inititive.

Preparing early is more important than ever!

MATLAB is a programming and numeric computing platform used by millions of engineers and scientists to analyze data, develop algorithms, and create models. It is also a required course for a variety of majors.

MATLAB combines a desktop environment tuned for iterative analysis and design processes with a programming language that expresses matrix and array mathematics directly. It includes the Live Editor for creating scripts that combine code, output, and formatted text in an executable notebook.

Learning difficult software before going to college is key for less stress and better grades.

Your school may already have a school wide student software license that you may use at no charge.

*Students enrolled in PVNet courses may receive a free MATLAB license*


MATLAB can accept real-time data input from a wide range of devices and sources. The specific devices and methods depend on the nature of the data, the interface, and the toolboxes you are using. Here are some common data categories:

matlab picture.JPG

MATLAB can accept real-time data input from a wide range of devices and sources. The specific devices and methods depend on the nature of the data, the interface, and the toolboxes you are using. Here are some common data categories:

  • Data Acquisition Devices: MATLAB supports data acquisition from hardware through the Data Acquisition Toolbox. This includes support for USB, PCI, PCIe, and other hardware interfaces from manufacturers like National Instruments, Measurement Computing, and more.

  • Instrument Control: For devices like oscilloscopes, function generators, and other test equipment, MATLAB can communicate via the Instrument Control Toolbox. This toolbox supports communication protocols such as GPIB, VISA, TCP/IP, and serial.

  • Image Acquisition: The Image Acquisition Toolbox allows MATLAB to acquire real-time images and video directly from cameras and frame grabbers.

  • Sensors and IoT Devices: With the support of MATLAB's support packages for different hardware, you can acquire data directly from sensors connected to Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and similar IoT devices. Additionally, MATLAB can receive data over networks using protocols like MQTT, which is commonly used in IoT applications.

  • Third-Party APIs and Services: MATLAB can interface with external services and APIs over the internet, allowing it to receive data from cloud-based sources, web services, and social media platforms in real-time.

  • Custom Devices: For custom hardware or less common devices, MATLAB provides the ability to develop custom drivers or use generic interfaces like serial, TCP/IP, or UDP for data input.

  • Simulink for Real-Time: For applications requiring real-time data input and processing, MATLAB integrates with Simulink, which can be used alongside Simulink Real-Time and Speedgoat hardware for real-time simulation and testing.

The versatility of MATLAB is enhanced by its extensible nature, allowing for the development of custom solutions if out-of-the-box support for a particular device is not available. The specifics of how to connect and acquire data from these devices involve configuring MATLAB and the hardware according to the detailed documentation provided by MathWorks, the developer of MATLAB, or the hardware manufacturer.


Here is some current information about some of the majors and schools that use MATLAB, Courtesy of ChatGPT 2024/01/18.

- Mechanical Engineering
- Aerospace Engineering
- Automotive Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Manufacturing Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Robotics Engineering
- Marine Engineering
- Architectural Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Product Design
- Mechatronics
- Materials Science and Engineering

- Industrial Design
- Graphic Design
- Jewelry Design
- Theater and Set Design
- Art and Sculpture
- Dental and Orthodontic Technology
- Prosthetics and Orthotics
- Forensic Science
- Education Technology

- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
​- California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
- Stanford University
- University of California, Berkeley
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Northwestern University
- University of Minnesota
- Dartmouth College (Thayer School of Engineering)
- Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
- Purdue University
- University of Michigan
- Texas A&M University
- Cornell University
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Carnegie Mellon University
- University of Texas at Austin
- Virginia Tech
- University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

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