MATLAB and Simulink are used as teaching tools in over 5000 universities around the world, in departments spanning the faculties of Engineering, Medicine, Science and Business. In South Africa, MATLAB and Simulink are used by the top 12 universities , and the number of users in each university is growing every year. Lecturers choose to use MATLAB and Simulink for teaching because of the ease in which concepts can be learnt as students test out ideas and theories by applying them to models of real-world systems. MATLAB’s high-level language and libraries of built-in functions on domain-specific topics allow lecturers to focus on the subject at hand, rather than on how to programme. When Simulink is used for teaching, it allows lecturers to make use of a concept called Project-Based Learning, which is a technique used to engage students in the exploration of engineering problems through the use of hardware and software.
MATLAB’s Total Academic Headcount (TAH) licensing model makes it easy for lecturers to access the software for lecture preparation and marking of assignments. Students, in turn, have easy access to MATLAB and toolboxes in the labs or on their personal computers, and so are able to use the software in class or for homework.
MATLAB and Simulink help ideas to come to life for students and inspire innovation and critical-thinking. The use of MATLAB and Simulink at university also prepares students for jobs in industry, as the tools are used extensively by professionals in many sectors of the economy.
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