MATLAB is a fourth-generation programming language and numerical analysis environment.
Uses for MATLAB include matrix calculations, developing and running algorithms, creating user interfaces (UI) and data visualization. The multi-paradigm numerical computing environment allows developers to interface with programs developed in different languages, which makes it possible to harness the unique strengths of each language for various purposes.
MATLAB is used by engineers and scientists in many fields such as image and signal processing, communications, control systems for industry, smart grid design, robotics as well as computational finance.
Cleve Moler, a professor of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico, created MATLAB in the 1970s to help his students. MATLAB's commercial potential was identified by visiting engineer Jack little in 1983. Moler, Little and Steve Bangart founded MathWorks and rewrote MATLAB in C under the auspices of their new company in 1984.
Watch a Lego Mindstorms robot solve a Rubik's Cube using MATLAB and Simulink: