In 1984, Cleve Moler, Steve Bangert, and Jack Little rewrote the
MATLAB codebase in C and founded The MathWorks company to market the
software and continue its development. MATLAB is used extensively
in education, in particular by engineering undergraduate students,
and often serves as their first exposure to scripted or API-based
programming. Other areas in which MATLAB remains popular are
optimal control design, image processing, and rapid prototyping of
linear algebra algorithms.
The current version of MATLAB is 7.14, also known as R2012a. The
MathWorks typically provides twice-yearly (a and b version) updates
to the software. Although official pricing information is only
available by requesting a quote from the MathWorks, the cost of
MATLAB is often prohibitive for individual researchers or scientists
in industry whose company does not have a group license.
Universities have access to academic pricing plans and frequently
provide MATLAB in campus computer labs as part of their service.