 
Summary: 18.03ESG Notes 2
Pramod N. Achar
Fall 1999
These notes are a brief introduction to the use of computational tools on Athena for solving differential
equations. The brevity is due in large part to the author's ignorance of the more sophisticated capabilities
of the software in question. Nevertheless, all three have extensive online help available, so those so inclined
should be able to exploit the full power of these software packages.
Craig Watkins has prepared some sample files for MATLAB and Maple in conjunction with his 18.03
Independent Study notes. These can be found as follows:
athena% add 18.03esg
athena% cd /mit/18.03esg/watkins/matlab
 or 
athena% cd /mit/18.03esg/watkins/maple
MATLAB
MATLAB is a purely numerical tool (as opposed to one capable of symbolic manipulation as well). Full
online documentation is available in HTML format; the command
helpdesk
starts up a web browser pointed to the table of contents of this online documentation.
The main command for solving firstorder systems is of the form
[t,y] = ode23('F', [t0; tfinal ], y0);
