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MATLAB Vs Python: Difference Between Matlab & Python & Which one is Better

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One of many trending debates within the scientific and computing community is that is MATLAB vs Python. Usually, people within the scientific community discuss transitioning from MATLAB to Python.

Whereas MATLAB is a strong computing environment for mathematical or technical computing operations involving arrays, matrices, and linear algebra, Python is additionally gaining popularity within the computing area. This is as a result of Python incorporates MATLAB’s computational power and facilitates speedy and simple development of scientific applications. Nonetheless, there are some key variations between MATLAB and Python.

In this article, we’ll discover the variations between MATLAB and Python.

MATLAB vs Python: What are they?


MATLAB is each a commercial numerical computing environment and programming language. The truth is, it is one of essentially the most superior and well-designed programming language for computing. Within the late Nineteen Seventies, Cleve Moler started the development of MATLAB. It is a multi-paradigm computing environment and language developed by MathWorks.

It is a superb tool for matrix manipulations, data plotting, implementing algorithms, and developing user interfaces. Despite the fact that MATLAB is designed primarily for numerical computation functions, it permits for symbolic computation utilizing the MuPAD symbolic engine.  

Also read: Top 6 Programming Languages to Learn – In-Demand 2020


Python is an open-source, high-level, general-purpose programming language. It was developed by Guido van Rossum and launched in 1991. Simplicity lies on the core of Python, and therefore, it makes use of the OOP method to assist developers write exact and logical code for small and huge tasks.

Python helps a number of programming paradigms, akin to procedural programming, OOP, and useful programming. Other than its neat syntax and code readability features, Python’s finest side is that it comes geared up with a number of ordinary libraries for conducting totally different programming and computing tasks.

Also read: Coding vs. Programming: A Never Ending Debate

MATLAB vs Python: The key variations

Let’s take a look at among the major variations between MATLAB and Python:


MATLAB is closed-source software program and a proprietary commercial product. Thus, you might want to purchase it to have the ability to use it. For each further MATLAB toolbox you want to set up and run, you might want to incur additional prices. The fee side aside, it is important to notice that since MATLAB is specifically designed for MathWorks, its user base is fairly limited. Additionally, if MathWorks had been to ever go out of enterprise, MATLAB would lose its industrial significance. 

In contrast to MATLAB, Python is an open-source programming language, which means it is totally free. You possibly can download and install Python and make alterations to the source code to finest fit your wants. Attributable to this cause, Python enjoys a much bigger fan following and user base. Naturally, the Python neighborhood is fairly intensive, with a whole bunch and 1000’s of developers contributing actively to enrich the language regularly. As we acknowledged earlier, Python provides quite a few free packages, making it an interesting alternative for developers worldwide.


Essentially the most notable technical distinction between MATLAB and Python lies of their syntax. Whereas MATLAB treats every thing as an array, Python treats every thing as a general object. As an example, in MATLAB, strings can both be arrays of strings or arrays of characters, however in Python, strings are denoted by a unique object known as “str.” One other example highlighting the distinction between MATLAB and Python’s syntax is that in MATLAB, a comment is something that begins after the percent sign (%). In distinction, comments in Python usually comply with the hash symbol (#).


MATLAB boasts of getting an integrating development environment. It is a neat interface with a console situated within the heart the place you possibly can type commands, whereas a variable explorer lies on the right, you’ll discover a listing listing on the left.

Then again, Python doesn’t embrace a default development environment. Customers want to decide on an IDE that matches their requirement specs. Anaconda, a well-liked Python package, encompasses two totally different IDEs – Spyder and JupyterLab – that operate as effectively because the MATLAB IDE. 


Programming languages are normally accompanied by a set of specialised tools to help a variety of user necessities, from modeling scientific data to constructing ML models. Built-in tools make the event process simpler, faster, and extra seamless.

Although MATLAB doesn’t have a number of libraries, its customary library contains built-in toolkits to cowl advanced scientific and computational challenges. The perfect factor about MATLAB toolkits is that experts develop them, rigorously tested, and well-documented for scientific and engineering operations. The toolkits are designed to collaborate effectively and in addition combine seamlessly with parallel computing environments and GPUs. Furthermore, since they’re updated together, you get fully-compatible versions of the tools.

As for Python, all of its libraries include many helpful modules for various programming wants and frameworks. Among the finest Python libraries embrace NumPy, SciPy, PyTorch, OpenCV Python, Keras, TensorFlow, Matplotlib, Theano, Requests, and NLTK. Being an open-source programming language, Python provides the flexibleness and freedom to developers to design Python-based software program tools (like GUI toolkits) for extending the capabilities of the language. 


Regardless of having an active community and wonderful customary packages, Python fails to match as much as MATLAB in one explicit space – the Simulink Toolbox. This toolbox extends MATLAB’s capabilities for signal processing and modeling in a graphical interface. Python lacks a graphical interface that may carry out these superior features. 

Total, each MATLAB and Python are wonderful tools. Whereas one is designed for particular duties (MATLAB), one other can carry out all kinds of generic operations

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