This brief tutorial will demonstrate how to make a .desktop file for Matlab on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or another standard compliant desktop environment. Open up a terminal, and run the following. In order for this to work, you will have needed to set up symbolic links during installation.
sudo wget http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/Matlab_Logo.png -O /usr/share/icons/matlab.png
sudo touch /usr/share/applications/matlab.desktop
sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/matlab.desktop
and paste the following into the document.
#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open [Desktop Entry] Type=Application Icon=/usr/share/icons/matlab.png Name=MATLAB R2014a Comment=Start MATLAB - The Language of Technical Computing Exec=matlab -desktop Categories=Development;
Save, and you should have a new desktop shortcut in your launcher. Comment with any issues or concerns following an update to Matlab and I will see if I can help.