# 3.1: Basic Mathematical Operations

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

## Operations and Expressions

An m-file environment has all of the standard arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, etc.) and functions (sine, cosine, logarithm, etc.). Table 1 lists the most commonly used operations; in this table, and are scalars. (A scalar is a single value, as opposed to a vector or matrix which consists of many values.)

Some Common Scalar Mathematical Operations.
Operation m-file
x - y

x + y

x*y

x/y

x^y

exp(x)

log10(x)

log(x)

log2(x)

cos(x)

sin(x)

sqrt(x)


Expressions are formed from numbers, variables, and these perations. The operations have different precedences. The

^


operation has the highest precedence;

^


operations are evaluated before any other operations. Multiplication and division have the next highest precedence, and addition and subtraction have the lowest precedence. Precedence is altered by parentheses; expressions within parentheses are evaluated before expressions outside parentheses.

Example 1

Table 2 below shows several mathematical formulas, the corresponding expressions, and the values that are computed for the expressions.

Example Expressions
formula MATLAB Expression Computed Value
5^2+4^2

41

(5+4)^2

81

(2 + 3)/(4 - 5)

log10(100)

2

log(4*(2 + 3))

2.9957


## Useful Tricks

These tricks are occasionally useful, especially when you begin programming with m-files.

• A semicolon added at the end of a line suppresses the output.
• Often it is useful to split input over multiple lines. To split a statement across multiple lines, enter three periods ... at the end of the line to indicate it continues on the next line.

Example 2

You could split the expression over multiple lines as follows:
(2+3)...

/(4-5)


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