Linear Algebra
http://www.maa.org/taxonomy/term/42292/0
enStarting with Two Matrices
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/starting-with-two-matrices
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>The author offers two examples that illustrate important central ideas in introductory linear algebra (independent or dependent vectors; invertible or singular matrices) which may aid students in developing conceptual understanding before any general theory is attempted.</p>
</div></div></div>Characteristic Polynomials of Magic Squares
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/characteristic-polynomials-of-magic-squares
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>An \(n \times n \) matrix whose rows, columns, and diagonal all sum to the same number \(m\) is called magic, and the number \(m\) is called the magic sum. If \(A\) is a magic square matrix, then its magic sum \(m\) must be an eigenvalue, and hence a characteristic root, of \(A\). A main result of this paper shows that the sum of all the characteristic roots of \(A\) except for \(m\) must be zero.</p>
</div></div></div>Proof without Words: A 2 x 2 Determinant Is the Area of a Parallelogram
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/proof-without-words-a-2-x-2-determinant-is-the-area-of-a-parallelogram
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>The author presents a visual proof that the determinant of a 2 by 2 matrix equals the area of the corresponding parallelogram.</em></p>
</div></div></div>Computing the Fundamental Matrix for a Reducible Markov Chain
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/computing-the-fundamental-matrix-for-a-reducible-markov-chain
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>A Markov chain with 9 states is used to illustrate a technique for finding the fundamental matrix.</em></p>
</div></div></div>A Note on the Equality of the Column and Row Rank of a Matrix
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/a-note-on-the-equality-of-the-column-and-row-rank-of-a-matrix
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>An elementary argument, different from the usual one, is given for the familiar equality of row and column rank. The author takes “full advantage of the following two elementary observations: (1) For any vector \(x\) in \(\mathcal{R}^n\) and matrix \(A\), \(Ax\) is a linear combination of the columns of \(A\), and (2) vectors in the null space of \(A\) are orthogonal to vectors in the row space of \(A\), relative to the usual Euclidean product.”</em></p>
</div></div></div>The Axis of a Rotation: Analysis, Algebra, Geometry
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/the-axis-of-a-rotation-analysis-algebra-geometry
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>Given any 3 by 3 rotation matrix \(A\) (i.e. orthogonal with determinant \(1\) and an arbitrary vector \(x\), the vector \( Ax +A^{T}x+[1−\)tr\((A)]x\) lies on the axis of rotation. The article provides three different approaches, requiring various levels of background knowledge, to prove and/or explain the given result.</em></p>
</div></div></div>Two by Two Matrices with Both Eigenvalues in \(Z/pZ\)
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/two-by-two-matrices-with-both-eigenvalues-in-zpz
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>This article provides a non-group theory approach to finding the number of two by two matrices over \( Z/pZ\) that have both eigenvalues in the same field. The strategy is to use the quadratic formula to find the roots of the characteristic polynomial of a matrix and then count the number of matrices for which these roots are in \(Z/pZ \).</em></p>
</div></div></div>A Geometric Approach to Linear Functions
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/a-geometric-approach-to-linear-functions
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>There are three somewhat distinct topics in this article: the condition for linear functions to commute, a linear function as a transformation of the number line, and linear difference equations. A linear function \(y=f(x)=ax+b\) can be characterized in terms of slope and the “center of reflection,” both of which reflect the geometric property of the function. </em></p>
</div></div></div>The Arithmetic of Algebraic Numbers: An Elementary Approach
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/the-arithmetic-of-algebraic-numbers-an-elementary-approach
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>If \(r\) and \(s\) are algebraic numbers, then \(r + s\), \(rs\), and \(r/s\) are also algebraic. The proof provided in this capsule uses the ideas of characteristic polynomials, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors.</em></p>
</div></div></div>The Existence of Multiplicative Inverses
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/the-existence-of-multiplicative-inverses
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>Using only basic ideas from linear algebra and number theory, the authors show that if \(c\) is square-free, the ring \(Q [\sqrt[n]{c}] \) is a field. An arbitrary nonzero element of the ring is associated with a system of equations, and divisibility arguments are used to show that a matrix of coefficients from the system must have a nonzero determinant, eventually leading to the result that the original element of the ring has an inverse. </em></p>
</div></div></div>Notational Collisions
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/notational-collisions
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p>This capsule points out several potential confusions in commonly used linear algebra notation.</p>
</div></div></div>The Matrix of a Rotation
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/the-matrix-of-a-rotation
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>Given a unit vector \(p\) in \( \mathbf{R}^3\) and an angle \( \theta\), what is the matrix of the rotation of \(\mathbf{R}^3\) about \(p\) through an angle of \(\theta\) in terms of the standard basis? The author obtains an explicit matrix without changing bases.</em></p>
</div></div></div>On the Power Sums of the Roots of a Polynomial
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/on-the-power-sums-of-the-roots-of-a-polynomial
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>Let \(C_f\) be the companion matrix of a polynomial \(f\) with coefficients in an integral domain \(D\). Let \(Q\) be the quotient field of \(D\). By use of the Jordan form of \(C_f\) over an extension field of \(Q\), the author shows that the trace</em> tr\((C_f^k)\) <em>is the sum of the \(k\)th powers of the roots of \(f\).</em></p>
</div></div></div>Using Quadratic Forms to Correct Orientation Errors in Tracking
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/using-quadratic-forms-to-correct-orientation-errors-in-tracking
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>If noise in data transmission produces a not quite orthogonal matrix that is known to be orthogonal, how does one find the "nearest" orthogonal matrix? This capsule recasts the problem as one of maximizing a quadratic form on the four-dimensional unit sphere, and sketches a solution.</em></p>
</div></div></div>A Polynomial Taking Integer Values
http://www.maa.org/programs/faculty-and-departments/classroom-capsules-and-notes/a-polynomial-taking-integer-values
<div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p><em>The article supplies a short, elementary proof that for integers \(a_1 < a_2 < \cdots < a_n \), the expression \( \prod_{n \geq i > j \geq 1} \frac{a_i - a_j}{i-j} \) is an integer. This previously known result is proved using the Vandermonde determinant. (Please note a typo in the first sentence of the paper where a fraction bar has been omitted.)</em></p>
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