Our primary use of string variables will be to specify the right hand
side (RHS) of a differential equation of the form . For
example if we are going to work with the differential equation
then we would make the following assignment to a string
variable named ` ftx`:

Note that * is used to indicate multiplication. Any valid MATLAB expression can make up the string, as long as the only two variables used areftx='2*t*x';

MATLAB commands are entered at the prompt ` >>`. Virtually all
commands have an associated M-file given by
` command_name.m`. For example, ` quit` is the command to end a
MATLAB session and close the software. Typing ` quit` at the
prompt ` >>` invokes the M-file ` quit.m`. Similarly, creating a
M-file with MATLAB commands and/or variable assignments also allows
you to call the M-file using its name, minus the ` .m` extension.
The file ` init.m` is such a file as is ` sol1.m`. If you are
in the directory/folder containing ` init.m`, typing ` init`
will invoke the file and those commands/assignments it contains. The
same holds for ` sol1.m` and ` sol1`. All of these files are
simple ASCII text files. (Remember though that you must
copy-and-paste ` init.m` at the Emporium.)

Information on almost any command/file can be obtained by typing
` help` ` command` at the prompt. For example, ` help quit`
brings up information on the command ` quit`, which is also the
information on the file ` quit.m`.

For more about general MATLAB use there are several books available.
One of these is * Engineer's Toolkit*, required for most VT
engineering majors. Another is the new tutorial compiled by the
Mathematics department. MATLAB itself has a built-in tutorial (type
the command ` intro`).

For the begining of this class, you will basically only need to know these simple facts. However some other information may make you more comfortable.