As we have previously stated, the basic data element in the
MATLAB system is the array. A scalar is represented as a
array—that is, an array with one row and one column.
Vectors are one-dimensional arrays. An array is
called a column vector, where m is the number of rows in
the single-column array. A array is called a row vector,
where n is the number of columns in the single-row
array. Array elements may be numbers, characters, strings,
other arrays, or structures. Recall that the elements in an
array must be uniform. A special type of array, called a cell
array, allows nonuniform elements.
MATLAB supports multidimensional arrays. A matrix
is a special case of an array. A matrix is a rectangular array
containing elements of any specified algebraic system, usually
real or complex numbers. The English mathematician
Arthur Cayley first introduced the concept of a matrix in the
mid-19th century. Matrices are employed to help solve systems
of linear equations and to perform linear transformations.
This chapter describes several applications of matrix
algebra to scientific and engineering problems.
MATLAB arrays are, by default, self-dimensioning.
That is, if we initialize an array with a set of values, MATLAB
automatically allocates the correct amount of space for
the array. If you append an element to an array, MATLAB
automatically resizes the array to handle the new element.
This is different from many programming languages, where
memory allocation and array sizing takes a considerable
amount of programming effort.