MATLAB (matrix laboratory) is a numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language. Developed by MathWorks, MATLAB allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other languages, including C, C++, Java, and Fortran.

Although MATLAB is intended primarily for numerical computing, an optional toolbox uses the MuPAD symbolic engine, allowing access to symbolic computing capabilities. An additional package, Simulink, adds graphical multi-domain simulation and Model-Based Design for dynamic and embedded systems.

In 2004, MATLAB had around one million users across industry and academia. MATLAB users come from various backgrounds of engineering, science, and economics. MATLAB is widely used in academic and research institutions as well as industrial enterprises.


Various agencies around UB offer MATLAB. CSE, CCR, SENS, and UBIT all offer MATLAB computing on their servers. The advantage of running MATLAB from a CSE server is that all of your home space is mounted locally. The CSE servers typically have a lighter load than the UBIT and SENS timeshare servers. CSE servers also have multiple CPUs to span jobs across using the distributed computing toolbox.

MATLAB on CSE Timeshare Servers

Before you request a local MATLAB instance, please try running MATLAB on any of the CSE timeshare servers:

CIT's My Virtual Lab

Students may access MATLAB via CIT's My Virtual Lab service.

This method provides only one CPU. It requires CSE space to be mounted following these instructions:

MATLAB on Local Researcher Computers

If the timeshares do not fulfill your needs, please email and request a local MATLAB installation. Help us to improve the MATLAB service by providing the reasons that the timeshares fail your requirements.

MATLAB Total Academic Headcount (TAH) License

This licensing option pertains to UB-owned servers and workstations. It permits MATLAB to be installed on any university-owned equipment. CSE distributes floating MATLAB licenses that are funded by UB's Total Academic Headcount (UB-TAH) license. We have UB-TAH licenses installed on CSE departmental timeshare servers and on research servers and workstations. This agreement does not pertain to personally-owned equipment.

MATLAB Local Installations on Student-Owned Machines

This licensing option is available for students wishing to install a local MATLAB installation on a student-owned machine. Students enrolled in an accredited university program may order MATLAB and Simulink Student Version DVDs from the MathWorks Student Store for $99.99/license. Students are responsible for installing this software on their own computers. Students maintain ownership of this license in perpetuity after leaving the university (but ownership only pertains to the purchased MATLAB version).


CSE Timeshares and Servers

MATLAB will natively launch from any CSE Linux timeshare, thin client (Sunray) or Linux PC which mounts the CSE /util filesystem. Launch the most recent MATLAB edition with this command invocation:

% /util/bin/matlab

On dragonforce, the Oracle Virtual Desktop Client (OVDC) server, launch MATLAB with this command invocation:

[dragonforce] ~% /util/matlab-8.0/bin/matlab

Refer to for the appropriate of CSE timeshare server to use.


For CSE supported Windows computers, Matlab can be installed locally, please contact cse-consult. CSE supported linux desktops mount file space that already has Matlab installed. Any non-CSE-supported workstations, can connect to CSE timeshares using the methods given at:

Parallel Computing

The University license includes the "Parallel Computing" toolbox. This gives users a variety of options when it comes to parallel matlab computation. The Parallel Computing Toolbox lets users solve computationally and data-intensive problems using multicore processors, GPUs, and computer clusters. The toolbox provides eight workers (MATLAB computational engines) to execute applications locally on a multicore timeshare or workstation.

See for more details.

MATLAB GPU support is available in Parallel Computing Toolbox. Using MATLAB for GPU computing lets you take advantage of GPUs without low-level C or Fortran programming. MATLAB supports NVIDIA® CUDA™-enabled GPUs with compute capability version 1.3 or higher, such as Tesla™ 10-series and 20-series GPUs. MATLAB CUDA support provides the base for GPU-accelerated MATLAB operations and lets you integrate your existing CUDA kernels into MATLAB applications.

See for more details.

For large, massively parallel jobs, or even sequential jobs, MATLAB Distributed Computing Server (MDCS) lets users solve computationally and data-intensive problems by executing MATLAB and Simulink-based applications on a compute cluster. UB Center for Computational Research (CCR) maintains an MDCS cluster with 256 cores. Users can submit MATLAB code from their personal machines to CCR's MDCS.

To use the CCR MDCS, you will need a CCR account and a local installation of MATLAB that includes the parallel computing toolbox. If you are using a CSE-managed machine, please email cse-consult and we will copy over the needed customized files.

See CCR's MDCS Support Page for instructions to access CCR's MDCS from CSE machines and to submit jobs from your local MATLAB instance.


  1. In 2010, Interim CIO Tom Furlani purchased a MATLAB site license for the entire university.
  2. If you are a research assistant (RA), please consult with your adviser. Some faculty have purchased their own computer servers to run MATLAB.


  1., CIT MATLAB license coordination email alias.
  2. Who are the current CIT MATLAB advisors?