The **key difference** between Matlab and C language is that **Matlab is an interactive computing environment while C language is a high-level general purpose programming language. **Furthermore, Matlab is mostly used for Science and Engineering tasks and is a paid software while C language is general purpose and is open source.

Matlab is an environment that helps to perform mathematical computations such as solving differential equations, calculating integration, solving polynomials etc. It provides various commands to perform transforms such as Fourier, Laplace, Inverse Laplace and to create different plots. On the other hand, C is a high-level general purpose programming language. It is used for developing embedded systems, databases, operating systems, compilers and network drivers.

### CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference

2. What is Matlab

3. What is C Language

4. Side by Side Comparison – Matlab vs C Language in Tabular Form

5. Summary

## What is Matlab?

Matlab is an interactive environment for numerical computation, programming and data visualization. It is an expensive software package. Mathworks is the developer of Matlab. It follows a syntax similar to C language and it is a written using programming languages C, C++, and Java.

Matlab mainly helps to perform various mathematical tasks. Users can perform matrix and vector calculations, solve algebraic equations, differential equations, and integration problems. It is also possible to perform data analytics and statistics. Moreover, the user can do various transformations such as Fourier, Laplace, and Inverse Laplace. Other than that, Matlab helps to create plots for data visualization. In addition to that, Matlab provides tools to build impressive Graphical User Interfaces. It is also possible to integrate Matlab algorithms with external applications like C, Java, .NET. Another helpful feature is Simulink. It allows to model, design and simulates systems.

This software is mainly popular among Engineering and Science community. It provides several toolboxes for statistical and machine learning, signal processing, control systems, neural networks, image processing and text analytics. It is popular among the research community as well because it allows developing algorithms easily without much coding. Overall, it helps multiple applications related to signal processing, communication, computer vision and image processing, control systems, machine learning and many more.

## What is C Language?

C is a high-level programming language. It is the foundation programming language for many other languages such as Java, Python etc. The main paradigm that C supports is structured programming. Therefore, the language uses control flows, repetitions, functions etc.

C is a compiler based language. So, the compiler reads the entire source code before converting it to machine language. It is a fast language comparing to interpreted languages such as Python and PHP. It does not provide automatic memory management like Java. Therefore, the programmer should perform memory management on his own. Usually, C language is used for embedded systems, socket programming, operating systems etc.

## What is the Difference Between Matlab and C Language?

Matlab is an interactive computing environment while C is high level, general-purpose programming language. The Mathworks organization developed Matlab. Dennis Ritchie developed C and Bell Labs developed it further. Matlab is a commercial software. Therefore, the users should pay to get the software. On the other hand, C is open source. Matlab is based on an interpreter. It reads the code line by line. So, it is slow. On the contrary, C is based on the compiler. It translates the entire source code to machine code at once. So, it is fast.

Variable type declaration is not necessary for Matlab. If the user wants to store value 2 to a variable called x, he can directly write x=2. But, it is different in C language. It is necessary to declare the variable type. To store value 2 to variable x, the programmer should write int x=2; Moreover, Matlab script end with .m extension whereas C programs end with .c extension.

## Summary – Matlab vs C Language

This article discussed the difference between Matlab and C language. The difference between Matlab and C language is that Matlab is an interactive computing environment while C language is a high level general purpose programming language.

##### Reference:

1.Tutorials Point. “C Tutorial.” , Tutorials Point, 23 Mar. 2018. Available here

2.“Documentation.” MATLAB & Simulink. Available here

##### Image Courtesy:

1.’Matlab Logo’By Jarekt – Own work, (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

2.’C.sh-600×600’By J.sa13d034 – Own work, (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

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