MATLAB vs. Python: Top Reasons to Choose MATLAB

MATLAB is the easiest and most productive computing environment for engineers and scientists. It includes the MATLAB language, the only top programming language dedicated to mathematical and technical computing.

In contrast, Python is a general-purpose programming language.

"With MATLAB, I can code and debug a new capability much faster than with other languages. Cutting our development time in half with MATLAB was instrumental in our ability to meet a tight timeline. Our customer was convinced that I’d worked 70 hours each week when he saw the results."

Bancroft Henderson, EMSolutions

Engineers and scientists deserve tools that fit the way they work.

Everything about MATLAB is designed specifically for engineers and scientists:

  • Function names and signatures are familiar and memorable, making them as easy to write as they are to read.
  • The matrix-based MATLAB language lets you express math directly. Linear algebra in MATLAB is intuitive and concise. The same is true for data analytics, signal and image processing, control design, and other applications.
  • New function interfaces undergo a rigorous design process that typically involves dozens to hundreds of developer-hours per function.
  • The desktop environment is tuned for iterative engineering and scientific workflows.
  • Integrated tools support simultaneous exploration of data and programs, letting you explore more ideas in less time.
  • Documentation is written for engineers and scientists, not computer scientists.

This is why more than 1,800 textbooks teach engineering and science using MATLAB

“As a process engineer I had no experience with neural networks or machine learning. I worked through the MATLAB examples to find the best machine learning functions for our predictive metrology use case. I couldn’t have done this in C or Python—it would’ve taken too long to find, validate, and integrate the right packages.”

Emil Schmitt-Weaver, ASML

Proven MATLAB toolboxes provide the functions and capabilities you need.

A programming language must be combined with specialized tools that support what you need to do, whether you’re modeling economic data, analyzing an image sequence, or driving a robot. Those tools need to work, and they need to work together.

MATLAB toolboxes offer professionally developed, rigorously tested, field-hardened, and fully documented functionality for scientific and engineering applications. Toolboxes are designed to work with each other, and they integrate with parallel computing environments, GPUs, and automatic C code generation. They are updated together, so you never struggle with incompatible library versions.

We need to filter our data, look at poles and zeroes, run nonlinear optimizations, and perform numerous other tasks. In MATLAB, those capabilities are all integrated, robust, and commercially validated.

Borislav Savkovic, lead data scientist, BuildingIQ

MATLAB apps let you complete tasks more easily than with custom programming.

MATLAB apps let you start working right away. These interactive applications combine direct access to large collections of algorithms with immediate visual feedback. You can try a new surface fitting algorithmfilter design technique, or machine learning classification algorithm and see right away how it works with your data. Iterate until you’ve got the results you want, then automatically generate a MATLAB program to reproduce or automate your work.

MATLAB helps automate the entire path – from research to production.

Major engineering and scientific challenges require broad coordination across teams to take ideas to implementation. Every handoff along the way risks adding errors and delays.

MATLAB can help teams through their entire workflow:

You can trust the results you get in MATLAB.

Engineers and scientists trust MATLAB to send a spacecraft to Plutomatch transplant patients with organ donors, or just compile a report for management. This trust is built on impeccable numerics stemming from the strong roots of MATLAB in the numerical analysis research community.

A team of MathWorks engineers continuously verifies quality by running millions of tests on the MATLAB code base every day.

This all adds up to explain why engineers and scientists choose MATLAB.

Engineers and scientists appreciate using tools designed for the way they work, with well-designed, well-documented, and thoroughly tested functions and apps for their applications. This is why MATLAB is used by millions of engineers and scientists at universities and companies around the world.