# Questions tagged [linear-algebra]

For questions related to linear mappings, matrices, basis, determinants, eigenvalues and other topics commonly done in a linear algebra course.

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### Which context of the two contexts of the linear function concept should be taught first?

It appears in the current version of the Wikipedian article Linear function: In mathematics, the term linear function refers to two distinct but related notions:1 In calculus and related areas, a ...
473 views

### Should I gave a make up lecture if some students found what I taught is a bit unclear?

This semester, I am teaching discrete math for computer science students. Today I taught solving linear recurrence equations. The way I did it was not rigors. Instead I used the method of advanced ...
292 views

### Vector geometry as a prelude to linear algebra

When I was in grade 11, I was fortunate enough to attend a high school that offered an optional course in vector geometry. The course was taught out of the book Analytic Geometry with an Introduction ...
322 views

### Teaching LU Factorization in a sophomore-level Linear Algebra course

I teach this course from David Lay's Linear Algebra and Its Applications, which on the whole is a great textbook and explains things well. It does not explain the steps of LU factorization well, so I ...
439 views

### Computing eigenvalues by hand without determinants

I'm teaching a linear algebra class and I'm considering presenting eigenvectors and eigenvalues without using determinants, as in Axler's book Linear Algebra Done Right. (See also Axler's paper "...
252 views

### Applications of the annihilator from linear algebra

I am currently assisting a course for future teachers at university level for a joint education in maths and physics in Germany and I have a question regarding the use and possible application of the ...
174 views

### Highly intuitive yet comprehensive and easily readable (student friendly) book on linear algebra which do not focus much on applications, just basics

I came to know about Gilbert Strang's two books, "Introduction to Linear Algebra" and "Linear Algebra and its Applications". The first is the one used as the text in the 18.06 ...
196 views

### What is the English word for the French "repère"?

I'm preparing a holiday class in computer graphics. The class will be held in English. I'm a French speaker and I'm fighting with some words which have lots of meanings to find the right one in the ...
2k views

### Big list of "interesting" abstract vector spaces

When introducing an abstraction it is important (in my opinion) to have a wide variety of examples of this abstraction. Since finite dimensional real vector spaces are classified up to isomorphism by ...
221 views

### Why do we typically only teach high-school students affine transformations of elementary functions?

A standard pre-calculus curriculum consists of the study of elementary functions: Polynomials, rational functions, (circular and hyperbolic) trigonometric functions, exponential functions, their ...
59 views

### History of business calculus/linear algebra curriculum

I will be teaching a combination of business calculus and business linear algebra, two classes that have been around awhile at my school. I’m assuming people are familiar with these types of classes. ...
257 views

### Can we define length and perpendicularity not via an inner product?

A natural way to reason about Euclidean geometry using modern mathematical language is to define Euclidean space as an affine space $A$ directed by a finite-dimensional real vector space $V$. However, ...
618 views

### What is an algebraic explanation of why the product of the slopes of perpendicular lines is $-1$? [duplicate]

Q: What is a succinct, clear and purely algebraic explanation of why the product of the slopes of perpendicular lines is $-1$? Here I am aiming for high-school students (in the U.S.). I have a purely ...
236 views

### The dimension theorem and pedagogy

The dimension theorem (the rank-nullity theorem) can be explained in many ways. I consider it as a consequence of the first isomorphism theorem/splitting lemma. When I teach undergrad matrix-theoretic ...
82 views

### Teaching linear algebra, wacom tablet display of coordinate system, eigenvectors, markov chains

I am teaching linear algebra as part of an information retrieval course, which now occurs online. I have a Wacom tablet and free drawing software, sketchBook for artists, so can draw circles ellipses ...
1k views

### Why does a first course in linear algebra teach QR-decomposition?

I am teaching a "linear algebra for engineers" course, and am currently building my lectures on Gram-Schmidt, QR-decomposition and least squares equation solving. $\bullet$ I can motivate ...
46 views

### Exercises for explaning homothety, homothetic center, similarity on line and plane, free vector and vector space

I need the collection of exercises for such topics as: maps and transformations, composition of maps homothety, rotation homothety, homothetic center similarities of the line and the plane free ...
136 views

### How can I introduce the idea of eigenvectors and matrix decompositions to a general audience in an engaging manner?

So I'm doing a freelance writing job, writing a script for a YouTube video about eigenvectors/values. It took me a while to decide what the focus was going to be, but I finally settled on focusing on ...
3k views

### Why do some linear algebra courses focus on matrices rather than linear maps?

I hope the essence of the question is clear from the title. There are obvious advantages to making the linear map the central notion of a linear algebra course: the notion can be illustrated with ...
113 views

### How to start tackling a 200 page big script? [closed]

I am really not sure how to tackle a 200 page huge script with a lot of information about the topic linear algebra. Writing down the definitions would not make sense in my opinion, because if I want ...
165 views

### Notation in the definition of matrix multiplication

When matrix multiplication is introduced, it is usually introduced with an additional variable: Given two multiplicable matrices $A$, $B$, one defines the product $C=AB$ to be the matrix given by some ...
276 views

### Can anyone recommend good software for verifying row reduction steps?

I work as a tutor for linear algebra. Students will often have a problem that requires them to row reduce, and they'll make an arithmetic mistake somewhere. Often they'll ask for my help finding ...
203 views

### How to come up with a Leslie matrix with convenient eigenvalues?

A three by three Leslie matrix looks like $$\begin{bmatrix} f_0 & f_1 & f_2 \\ s_0 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 & s_1 & 0 \end{bmatrix},$$ where $f_0 \ge 0$ and everything else is ...
319 views

### Selected Exercise for Linear Algebra Done Right Edition 3 [closed]

I am self learning the book Linear Algebra Done Right. I tried to complete all exercises in each chapter. I am currently at Chapter 3 and found that it is not feasible to complete all of the exercises....
1k views

### Notation for change of basis matrix

As far as I can tell, it's only a slight exaggeration to say that every text has a different notation for a change of basis matrix from (say) $\mathcal{B}$ to $\mathcal{C}$. That's not even to talk ...
353 views

### Gil Strang or Peter Lax? Which linear algebra book to use? [closed]

I have heard that Peter Lax's linear algebra book is the hardest you can find on the subject, but that it is the greatest linear algebra text in the world. But I also hear great things about Gil ...
151 views

### Difficulty in teaching the coordinates of a vector with respect to a basis $\{v_1,v_2,\ldots,v_n\}$

Let $V$ be a finite dimensional vector space and let $B=\{v_1,v_2,\cdots,v_n\}$ be a basis of $V$. If a vector $v$ can be written as $$v=a_1v_1+a_2v_2+\cdots+a_nv_n,$$ we call $(a_1,a_2,\cdots,a_n)$...
4k views

### Is Linear Algebra Done Right too much for a beginner?

I have asked in Mathematics stackexchange, but I think asking here is more appropriate. I am self studying the book Linear Algebra Done Right by Axler. That's how I started using the great Stack ...
281 views

### Word for the dimension of the vector space in which a vector lives?

The following issue comes up whenever I teach linear algebra: I want to have a quick way to say that a vector $(x,y,z)$ is in $\mathbb{R}^3$. I am tempted to say that it has "length $3$". But then ...
349 views

### A proof based Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra

May I know how can I teach a proof-based Multivariable Calculus and linear algebra as a single course? While there are quite a few known books in the field such as: 1) Vector Calculus, Linear Algebra ...
181 views

### How to create educational linear algebra animations?

I'm looking to create animations for a linear algebra course. I need things like writing and changing equations, including matrices, plotting of 2- and 3-dimensional axes with points, vectors, lines ...
181 views

### CoTeaching Elementary Linear Algebra

I and my colleague will teach an elementary linear algebra next few weeks, but the way our course is planned mostly is by turn teaching. By that I mean, my partner will teach the first 8 weeks of the ...
461 views

I am looking for multiple choice question (MCQ) based tests on some Mathematics' topics (details below), which could be downloaded in most preferably tex (LaTex) format or doc/docx format. Kindly ...
287 views

### Analogies or explanations for duality, at the college sophomore level

This semester I taught the third semester of my college's freshman physics sequence. Nearly all the students are engineering majors. Compared to previous semesters when I've taught this course, I went ...
186 views

### Timing of when Cayley-Hamilton theorem is taught in Linear Algebra

I teach at a primarily undergraduate 4-year college in the US and we don't cover the proof of Cayley-Hamilton theorem in our linear algebra courses. I did however see both the computational and the ...
298 views

### Make a matrix algebra course (1st university year) more "project-based"

Among other courses, I'm teaching a (basic) matrix algebra course for 1st year university students (they are studying Economics, and the cursus leads them to management, finance, or econometrics in ...
575 views

### Who actually uses $\mathbf i$, $\mathbf j$, $\mathbf k$ for the standard unit vectors?

I am wondering which research communities use the notation $\mathbf i$, $\mathbf j$, $\mathbf k$ for the three-dimensional unit vectors. The calculus textbook I have to use (Stewart) uses that ...
6k views

### Should college mathematics always be taught in such a way that real world applications are always included?

I am teaching Linear Algebra this semester with the textbook Introduction to Linear Algebra by Serge Lang and most (perhaps all?) my students are not majoring in mathematics. As I was carefully ...
1k views

### Is Lax's Linear Algebra and its Applications comprehensive or idiosyncratic?

I'm looking for a good abstract linear algebra text (i.e., not matrix crunching) for students who have completed a Strang-level linear algebra course plus exposure to a proof writing (e.g., induction ...
447 views

### Helping a student exasperated by abstract concepts in linear algebra

I am currently tutoring a student in linear algebra. She is a very hard worker and does well on computational problems, but struggles to build mathematical intuition. This struggle is compounded by ...
99 views

### Resources on 3D transforms, vectors, coordinate systems

Background: I'm helping engineers use software to create 3D geometry in a programmatic way (similar to OpenSCAD). The functions they need to call have inputs which are low-level geometry concepts: 3D ...
216 views

### Determinant applications for 16 year olds

I am teaching matrices, determinants and systems to a class of 16-year-olds. As you can expect, they do not know calculus or linear algebra. What they do know is a little bit of matrices (how to ...
180 views

### Defining/introducing vectors informally

A vector is a collection of elements whose order matters. If the elements represent comparable measurements it can be said that they together represent a direction and a magnitude (length). The ...
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### Applications and motivation of abstract linear algebra topics for engineers

This semester I'm teaching introductory linear algebra for engineering students, and I don't think I'm doing a good job explaining why these topics are important; specifically, everything having to do ...
1k views

### Why do we teach that every line is a linear function?

Teaching my precalculus class today, I noticed something very simple that I hadn't taken into account previously. The definition in our textbook read: "A linear function is a function defined by ...
2k views

### A simple explanation or derivation of Cramer's rule, suitable for secondary Algebra 2?

I am tutoring a high school student in Algebra 2. Her class has just covered systems of linear equations, mainly via the "substitution" and "elimination" methods. Her textbook concludes that unit ...