# Mathematical Operations in Matlab

In this lesson, I'll explain how to perform mathematical calculations in Matlab and introduce the symbols for the primary mathematical operators.

**Addition**

The symbol for addition is the plus sign +

>> 3+2

ans = 5

**Subtraction**

The symbol for subtraction is the minus sign -

>> 3-2

ans = 1

**Multiplication**

The symbol for multiplication is the asterisk *

>> 4*2

ans = 8

**Division**

The symbol for division is the forward slash or slash /

>> 8/2

ans = 4

**Remainder of Division**

To calculate the remainder of division, use the mod() function.

>> mod(7,2)

ans = 1

**Note**. In Matlab, you can't use the % symbol to find the remainder of a division because it's already used to insert comments in the code. So if you write 7%2, Matlab will treat 2 as a comment. The only way to calculate the remainder of a division is by using the mod() function.

**Exponentiation**

The symbol for exponentiation is ^

>> 2^3

ans = 8

**Square Root
**

To calculate the square root of a number, use the sqrt() function.

>> sqrt(16)

ans = 4

Alternatively, you can raise the number to 1/2.

>> 16**(1/2)

ans = 4

**Other Mathematical Functions**

Matlab has a large number of predefined functions to perform specific mathematical operations. Here are some examples:

**abs(x)**

returns the absolute value of x**cos(x)**

calculates the cosine of x**sin(x)**

calculates the sine of x**tan(x)**

calculates the tangent of x**acos(x)**

calculates the arccosine of x**asin(x)**

calculates the arcsine of x**atan(x)**- calculates the arctangent x
**exp(x)**

calculates the exponential of x**log(x)**

calculates the natural logarithm of x**log10(x)**

calculates the base 10 logarithm of x**sqrt(x)**

calculates the square root of x**nthroot(x,n)**

calculates the real nth root of x

For example, if you want to calculate the **absolute value** of a number, use the abs() function.

>> abs(-1)

ans = 1

**Note**. In general, Matlab results are displayed in short format with 5 significant digits by default. However, you can change the format from short to long or use scientific notation.