Within 20 minutes of seeing this error message, I had downloaded and installed the Anaconda distribution of Python, and used it to do the calculation I wanted to do (a simple linear regression), even though I am not familiar with the Python language. Google served as my help search tool.
It was fewer lines of code, more straightforward than the Matlab script I was going to use and has a better interface (the IPython Notebook). From now on, the lab will be moving away from Matlab and working to use Python wherever possible. We are installing the Anaconda distribution on the server next to our data - so we also avoid having to move files across the network just to analyze.
I just updated my browser to Yosemite, and now Matlab 2012b is completely broken on my laptop.