This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

Full Description


This course is for beginners with no previous experience with Scilab or other software similar to it (names not listed because it is part of the assignment for registering!).

Scilab is a free software for numerical computations and has its own interpreted programming language that can extend its existing capabilities. This course is intended for a beginner new to matrix software tools. Scilab has a large feature set, but this course covers only the basics.

The following points make Scilab an attractive choice for anyone requiring software for matrix algebra computations:

  • An interactive numerical tool with ability to plot 2D and 3D graphs and visualize data
  • Similar to Matlab(R) but free and open source with a license compatible with GNU GPL
  • Comes with a large library of built-in functions for matrix algebra
  • Comes with a large number of toolboxes developed by the community for a variety of applications including signal and image processing, control systems, genetic algorithms, neural networks etc.
  • Has a vibrant community
  • Has a built-in interpreted programming language to extend its existing capabilities
  • Has a C/C++ API
  • Under constant development

The primary motivation behind learning and using Scilab is that one can focus on the problem being solved instead of getting involved in programming and debugging C/C++/Fortran code for matrix algebra operations.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Scilab environment, help system and workspace
  • Scilab data types, operators, statements
  • Defining and using matrices, sub-matrix operations and ranges
  • Plotting 2D graphs
  • Scilab programming language
  • Writing Scilab scripts
  • Writing Scilab functions
  • Some simple applications

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, the student must be able to:

  • Use Scilab in interactive mode to carry out matrix computations
  • Plot 2D graphs
  • Write Scilab functions to extend its existing capabilities


This course has the following prerequisities:

  • Knowledge of matrix operations

The following, while not necessary, may be an advantage:

  • Knowledge of a programming language such as C or Fortran

Sign-Up Task

Complete the following assignment and submit at the time of registering:

  • List the names and web site URLs of at least three other software similar to Scilab, both Free and Open Source as well as non free
  • Define the following (i) Square matrix (ii) Symmetric matrix (iii) Diagonal matrix (iv) Transpose of a matrix
  • List at least two methods of solving a set of linear simultaneous equations
  • In a programming language, what roles do functions play?

Submit your answers to the above questions and then proceed with the next requirement: 

  • Visit Equalis website and register with the Scilab group (I get an email when a new member joins this group)


Schedule for the course

Task Discussion