Short for matrix laboratory, MATLAB is a computing and visualization software package, as well as a fourth generation programming language, published by MathWorks. It performs matrix manipulations, function plotting, algorithm implementation, and many high-level mathematical operations. Its companion package, Simulink, is used for graphical multi-domain simulation.
MATLAB was originally written in the late 1970s by Cleve Moler, the chairman of the computer science department at the University of New Mexico. Moler wanted to give his students a way to use linear algebra and matrix computation packages without having to learn FORTRAN. Today, it is utilized mainly by engineers and students of linear algebra, with over a million users worldwide.