The basic data type of MATLAB is a matrix of floats. There is no distinction between a scalar and a 1x1 matrix, and functions that work on scalars typically work on matrices as well by performing the scalar function on each entry in the matrix and returning the results in a matrix with the same dimensions. Operators such as the logical operators ('&' '|' '!'), relational operators ('==', '!=', '<', '>'), and arithmetic operators ('+', '-') all work this way. However the multiplication '*' and division '/' operators perform matrix multiplication and matrix division, respectively. The .* and ./ operators are available if entry-wise multiplication or division is desired.
Numerical integration, in some instances also known as numerical quadrature , asks for the value of a definite integral . Popular methods use one of the Newton–Cotes formulas (like the midpoint rule or Simpson's rule ) or Gaussian quadrature . These methods rely on a "divide and conquer" strategy, whereby an integral on a relatively large set is broken down into integrals on smaller sets. In higher dimensions, where these methods become prohibitively expensive in terms of computational effort, one may use Monte Carlo or quasi-Monte Carlo methods (see Monte Carlo integration ), or, in modestly large dimensions, the method of sparse grids .