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Linear equations and matrices

A linear equation is one where the unknowns appear multiplied only by constants. You can use a shorthand notation for a collection of such equations which saves time: for example, 2x + 3y = 7 and -x + 17y = 3 can be written as

The square array of numbers is called the matrix of the equations and the rectangular column containing x and y and the object on the right-hand side of the equals sign are called (column) vectors.


Robert Corless
Wed Jan 31 11:33:59 EST 1996