Introduction

About the Author

Patrick Herb
PhD Candidate, International Economics & Finance

Brandeis University
International Business School
Mailstop 032
P.O. Box 549110
Waltham, MA 02454

Purpose of This Course

  • This course is designed as a primer for first year economics PhD students at Brandeis University
  • The material contained in this course is just a small fraction of what you will likely encounter in your first semester of graduate level courses
  • The material you will be working with will likely be much more complicated and demanding than anything in this course
  • The purpose then, of this course, is to get you familiar enough with Matlab so that you are not completely lost and confused when you get your first homework assignments
  • If you know how to do everything in this course, your first few weeks will be much more enjoyable and less stressful (but not stress free)

The Idea Behind Matlab

  • Matlab is a vector / matrix language, which means that Matlab thinks in terms of vectors and matrices
  • Information is stored as either a scaler, a vector or a matrix
  • The best way to interact with Matlab is to think for yourself in scalars, vectors and matrices
  • It is very helpful to start thinking of time series data as a vector and each observation as a location within the corresponding vector
  • Visualizing information in this way will guide you to writing fast and efficient Matlab programs