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09 24 2015 | by Victor Xing | Financial Models

Why is MATLAB so popular? Aren’t there suitable alternatives for engineers and scientists?

MATLAB handles most of the plumbing to to allow designers to focus on the task at hand instead of reinventing the wheel.   It is true that other languages also have extensive libraries, but MATLAB’s libraries are well integrated that everything just works out of box (no additional code needed).

I especially like the following:

  1. Strong I/O with Excel and other file types (can easily use MATLAB to automate Excel updates)
  2. Strong Bloomberg integration (requires its own toolbox)
  3. Huge library of mathematical / quantitative functions
  4. Love the focus on matrix operations.  The array data structure can seem odd at first, but it is versatile
  5. The IDE is well designed with an intuitive debugging interface
  6. Able to pause at section of the code and use the manual command input to test out alternative implementations
  7. Cost is not really a concern for major financial institutions.  MATLAB also has good technical support

Stata is a good alternative for pure mathematical and statistics work.

Next article09 23 2015 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks

To which school of economic thought does PBOC (People’s Bank of China) Governor Zhou Xiaochuan belong to?