Workshop Description (Introductory Course)

MATLAB is a powerful, high-level programming language for numerical computation, visualization, and application development. This workshop will start by introducing the MATLAB environment and then cover working with arrays and matrices, loops and conditional statements, writing your own functions, working with files and visualizing your data. The final day will briefly introduce utilizing MATLAB to solve differential equations and the basics of computational systems biology modeling using MATLAB. The course is supplemented with many hands-on exercises. The workshop is suitable for those with or without coding experience in other languages. No computational knowledge is assumed and no prerequisite workshops are required, however the Unix workshop (workshop 1) may be a useful foundation.

Workshop Materials

The slides for day 1 can be found here.

Section 1: Intro and the MATLAB development environment

Section 2: Basic variables

Section 3: Matrices

Section 4: Printing and more matrices

Section 5: Our first script

Section 6: Data types

Section 7: The if statement

Slides for day 2 can be found here.

Section 8: Advanced if statements

Section 9: For and while loops
Section 10: Advanced matrices
Section 11: Cell Arrays
Section 12: Our first function
Section 13: Our first function 2 and getting help

Slides for day 3 can be found here.

Section 14: Writing to files
Section 15: Basic plotting
Section 16: Bar graphs
Section 17: Learning plots through the property editor
Section 18: Introduction to dynamical systems modeling

Technical Requirements

  • Attendees are required to have a Hoffman2 account. To apply for an account, click here. UCLA participants who lack a faculty sponsor and non-UCLA participants may apply for a temporary Hoffman2 account, requesting sponsorship from Collaboratory Workshops.
  • MATLAB –
  • We strongly encourage attendees to bring a laptop capable of accessing UCLA’s WiFi.


Dr. Ying Tang is a postdoc in signaling systems laboratory working with Professor Alexander Hoffmann. His research interest is to develop quantitative understanding on immune systems through mathematical modeling, from the level of intracellular information transmission to cell population dynamics. Prior to joining UCLA, he did Ph.D. study in Shanghai Jiao Tong University and University of California, San Diego. During Ph.D., he worked on stochastic process, nonequilibrium statistical physics, and mathematical modeling of E. coli chemotaxis. Email:



Ying was very helpful, walked around and made sure everyone understood what he taught before moving on.
Ying is fantastic in teaching Matlab!

Workshop Details

Prerequisites: None
Length: 3 days, 3 hrs per day
Level: Introductory
Location: ZOOM
Seats Available: TBD

Spring 2021 Dates

Apr. 13, 14, and 15
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM