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CMPSC 200 Exam 2 Cheat Sheet by

Three Categories of Code

Sequ­ences - lines of code executed one after another
Sele­ction Struct­ures - executes some piece of code if some known condition is true, otherwise executes some altern­ative.
Repe­tition Struct­ures - (loops) causes a group of statements to be executed multiple times.

Break and Continue

Break statements cause the termin­ation of the smallest enclosing while or for loop.
Cont­inue statements skip to the rest of loop, advancing to the next loop pass.


clock gives you the current time
etime compares between a start and end time
cput­ime returns cpu time since you started matlab
tic/­toc works like a stopwatch

Array vs Matrices

Array holds stuff: can hold numeric info, char data, or symbolic data. Is "an orderly grouping of inform­ati­on". No special properties by virtue of its existence.
Matrix is a 2D numeric array used in linear algebra. Used extens­ively in STEM fields and has special proper­ties.

To solve Ax = b

Inverse method solution = inv(A)*b
rref command A_augm­ented = [A b]
RREF_r­esult = rref(A­_au­gme­nted);
solution = RREF_r­esu­lt(­:,end)
back­slash solution = A\b

Structure Arrays

A = 'We Are!'
B = [1 4; 3 2]
C = 'Penn State!'
D = single([ 1 2; 3 4])
E = {A, B, C, D} %default printing, just shows sizes.
celldisp(E) %needed to generate display

E{3} displays 'Penn State'
E{1}(1,2) %1st row, 2nd col of cell 1 w/ multilayer indexing displays e
E{2}(:) %concatenates cell 2 into column vector

N.first = 'Hello';
N.second = 'World';
disp('N is: ')
disp(N) N is: first:'Hello'; second:'World'

orderfields(N) %orders fields in ASCII dictionary
orderfields(N,O) %orders N field like O is ordered

T = 'myphrase1';
L = rmfield(L,T) % removes 'myphrase1' field from L

Short Answer

41. What is the difference between a matrix and 2D array?
A matrix is 2D, has special mathem­atical proper­ties. An array need not be 2D,
and has no special mathem­atical proper­ties, and is merely a “holder” for data.
42. Why is it a good idea to create a flowchart and pseudocode before you attempt to create a computer program?
Creating a flowchart and pseduocode before attempting to create a computer
program is a good idea because it gives you an opport­unity to think your way
through the program. A builder wouldn’t start building a house without a
blueprint; it is advisable to think through your programs as well.
43. Briefly describe how one would mathem­ati­cally check if a square matrix is singular. What practical implem­ent­ation issues arise when implem­enting that into MATLAB code?
Mathem­ati­cally, a matrix is invertible if detA ~= 0. In terms of
implem­ent­ation, if the determ­inate is ≈ 0 it can be viewed as effect­ively singular.
You could check the determ­inant against some sort of tolerance to see if your
determ­inant is close enough to 0 to make your matrix numeri­cally act as singular.

3D array whose values count down

nrows = 3;
ncols = 2;
npages = 4;
B = zeros(nrows,ncols,npages);
counter = 25;

for k = 1:npages;
    for i = 1:nrows;
        for j = 1:ncols;
            counter = counter - 1;
            B(i,j,k) = counter;

fprintf('The first page of B is:\n')

Short Answer

44. What is the benefit of using cell arrays to store chars instead of using character arrays?
Character arrays have to have the same number of columns in each row. Cell
arrays of chars, however, has no such restri­ction.
45. Briefly discuss the difference between cell arrays and structure arrays in MATLAB.
One of the more prominent differ­ences between cell arrays and structure arrays in
MATLAB is content indexing for cells, and the use of fields for structure arrays.

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