# Matrix Algebra

Encyclopedia
Edited by: Published: 2010

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James Joseph Sylvester developed the modern concept of matrices in the 19th century. For him a matrix was an array of numbers. He worked with systems of linear equations; matrices provided a convenient way of working with their coefficients, and matrix algebra was to generalize number operations to matrices. Nowadays, matrix algebra is used in all branches of mathematics and the sciences and constitutes the basis of most statistical procedures.

Matrices: Definition

A matrix is a set of numbers arranged in a table. For example, Toto, Marius, and Olivette are looking at their possessions, and they are counting how many balls, cars, coins, and novels they each possess. Toto has 2 balls, 5 cars, 10 coins, and 20 novels. Marius has 1, 2, 3, and 4, and ...

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