Does Matlab Follow Pemdas


When it comes to mathematical calculations, following the correct order of operations is crucial. Each operation must be performed in a specific order to ensure accurate results. This order is commonly referred to as PEMDAS, which stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division (from left to right), and Addition and Subtraction (also from left to right). However, when it comes to MATLAB, the situation may be a little different.

As a technical expert, I have often wondered if MATLAB follows the PEMDAS rule as strictly as other programming languages. To find out, I delved deep into the subject and conducted a thorough investigation. The results were quite surprising!

Understanding MATLAB’s Operator Precedence

MATLAB does indeed have a well-defined operator precedence, similar to the PEMDAS rule. However, it is important to note that MATLAB follows a slightly different order when it comes to multiplication and division compared to addition and subtraction.

In MATLAB, multiplication and division have the same precedence and are performed from left to right, which means they are evaluated in the order they appear. This differs from the traditional PEMDAS rule, where multiplication and division come before addition and subtraction. However, MATLAB still respects the rule of parentheses and exponentiation.

Examples in MATLAB

Let’s take a closer look at some examples to understand how MATLAB handles different operations:

x = 5 + 3 * 2;

In this case, MATLAB follows its own rule and performs the multiplication first, giving us the result of 11.

x = (5 + 3) * 2;

Here, MATLAB correctly prioritizes the operations within the parentheses and performs the addition first. The result is then multiplied by 2, resulting in a value of 16.

x = 2^3 + 4;

Similarly, MATLAB correctly evaluates the exponentiation first, followed by the addition. In this case, the value of x will be 12.

Personal Reflections

As I explored MATLAB’s adherence to the PEMDAS rule, I found it intriguing to see how slight variations in programming languages can affect the order of operations. While MATLAB’s approach may seem different at first, it is consistent within its own language. This is something to keep in mind when working with MATLAB and performing complex calculations.

In my personal experience, understanding MATLAB’s operator precedence has been essential in ensuring accurate results and avoiding computational errors. While it may take some time to adjust to this different order, once you become familiar with it, MATLAB can be a powerful tool for mathematical computations.


Although MATLAB does not strictly follow the PEMDAS rule, it does have a well-defined operator precedence that governs the order of operations. While multiplication and division have equal precedence and are performed from left to right, addition and subtraction also have equal precedence but are performed after multiplication and division. Understanding these nuances is crucial for accurately evaluating expressions in MATLAB.

So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced MATLAB user, it is important to be aware of MATLAB’s operator precedence to ensure accurate and reliable mathematical calculations. Happy coding!