The language used for the programming assignments in the course is Matlab. Along with C and Python, this is perhaps the most common platform for modern research on machine learning. We do not expect that you already know Matlab, but you are expected to be a competent programmer for this course.
We will setup accounts to ensure that you have access to Matlab.
Here are some link to useful introductions to Matlab:
You will require two software packages:
Xming – An X11 window system emulator. This allows Windows to receive and
display graphical information generated on the Mathlab server.
Putty – A secure (encrypted) terminal program which will allow you to log in
remotely to the Mathlab server.
To start a Matlab session remotely from Windows (at home or at Bladen lab)
Start Xming – Select the Xming launcher from the Windows Start menu. This activates X11 emulation. Note that Xming by itself opens no windows. You will only see the Xming logo on the Windows program tray at the bottom-right corner of your screen.
Start a remote terminal session – Open putty, on the left-hand side of the putty window, notice the 'SSH' entry. Click on '+' to expand it, and find the 'X11' entry. Make sure to check the 'Enable X11 forwarding' box. Go back to the 'Session' entry in the left hand side menu. In the 'Host Name' box type:
Press the 'Open' button. This starts a session on the mathlab server at UTSC. You will be asked for your user name and password which should be the same you use to log on to fissure.
Start Matlab – Once you have your terminal session open, type from the command line:
This will start Matlab's Graphical User Interface. If you prefer to use the terminal version only, add '-nodesktop' to the command above.
To start a Matlab session remotely from Linux:
Make sure that X11 forwarding is enabled in the /etc/ssh/ssh_config file
Use ssh to log on to mathlab.utsc.utoronto.ca
From the command line, execute:
As noted above, you can disable the GUI if needed by adding the '-nodesktop' option to the command above.
Please remember that running X11 graphical applications over ssh is inherently slow. This will be most noticeable if you are running applications from home (without the benefit of the universities high speed network). This is a fundamental limitation of X11 and at present there is no reliable way to improve performance. Reducing the amount of graphical information sent over the network will improve things, hence, if you are comfortable running Matlab commands from the command window (without access to all the menus and options provided by the GUI), running Matlab with the '-nodesktop' option should help when running your code at home.