MATLAB, the MATrix LABratory, is a highlevel technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualization, data analysis, and numeric computation. Using MATLAB, you can solve technical computing problems faster than with traditional programming languages, such as C, C++, and Fortran. For more see: MathWorks MATLAB website and Origins of MATLAB.
The primary benefits of developing a project with MATLAB include: efficient, concise array manipulations; availability of many alreadyimplemented numerical routines (via the standard distribution, inputgroupaddon toolboxes, or online software repositories); and the large community of users available for support. One particularly active MATLAB community and software repository is MATLAB Central. For more see: MATLAB Central
Toolboxes
Toolboxes are inputgroupaddons to the standard MATLAB distribution. They provide additional functionality within a targeted application area. DSC has the following toolboxes available (current as of Spring 2009):
 Control System Toolbox
 FixedPoint Toolbox
 Image Processing Toolbox
 Mapping Toolbox
 Neural Network Toolbox
 Optimization Toolbox
 Partial Differential Equation Toolbox
 Signal Processing Toolbox
 Statistics Toolbox
 System Identification Toolbox
 Wavelet Toolbox
For more see: MathWorks Product Listing
HighPerformance Computing with MATLAB
Beginning with MATLAB R2007b, new features have been implemented in the official MathWorks MATLAB distribution that allow for parallel and distributed computing. The MATLAB Distributed Computing Engine, used in conjunction with Distributed Computing Toolbox, enables MATLAB and Simulink users to execute applications on a computer cluster. For more see: Cleve's Corner: Parallel MATLAB: Multiple Processors and Multiple Cores.
MatlabMPI is set of MATLAB scripts that implement a subset of MPI and allow any MATLAB program to be run on a parallel computer. The key innovation of MatlabMPI is that it implements the widely used MPI look and feel on top of standard MATLAB file i/o, resulting in a pure MATLAB implementation that is exceedingly small (~300 lines of code). Thus, MatlabMPI will run on any combination of computers that MATLAB supports. For more see: MATLAB MPI.
Running MATLAB
With the exception of the classroom and hallway computers, MATLAB access is available only on the General Purpose (GP) Cluster through SGE. Unless initiated through an X11capable terminal (i.e. Gnome Terminal, xterm, rxvt, etc.), MATLAB will start in a textonly commandline mode.
NOTE: To force MATLAB to run in commandline mode use the following flags:
matlab nodesktop nojvm nosplash
nodesktop  Start MATLAB without its desktop.  
nojvm  Start MATLAB without the Java virtual machine (JVM).  
nosplash  Start MATLAB but does not display the splash screen. 
DSC General Access
MATLAB must be run remotely using SGE
 Open an X11 terminal and type:
qlogin
 SGE will locate the leastloaded classroom node and initiate a connection.
 After authenticating, type:
matlab
If qlogin
is not available on your machine, you must run the above commands from the PAMD cluster.
 SSH to pamd:
ssh X pamd.sc.fsu.edu
 Then follow the above instructions.
Classroom and Hallway Computers
MATLAB is installed locally on each machine.
 Open an X11 terminal and type:
matlab
In Batch Mode
There are circumstances where a user would want to run MATLAB without its graphical user interface (GUI). For example, a user may want call a MATLAB script from a Makefile, or submit multiple batch jobs to a queuing system.
From a Makefile
Use the following syntax: cd WORKING_DIRECTORY && matlab nosplash nojvm r PATH_TO_MATLAB_SCRIPT
where

WORKING_DIRECTORY
is the directory that MATLAB will work in. 
PATH_TO_MATLAB_SCRIPT
is the path to the MATLAB mfile you wish to run
Learning MATLAB
There are a plethora of beginning MATLAB tutorials on the internet. A few are listed here:
 Numerical Computing with MATLAB
 http://www.math.utah.edu/lab/ms/matlab/matlab.html
 http://www.math.mtu.edu/~msgocken/intro/intro.html
One of the most overwhelming parts of learning MATLAB is becoming familiar with all of its functions. A useful resource is
MATLAB Help