Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm solving linear equations with matrices right now and I wonder, how did it start.

Who, how, why came to idea that such kind of equations could be solved with matrices? What was first: matrix or linear equation? How did they found each other?

Will be glad, if anybody is able to answer my question.

share|cite|improve this question
It is interesting to note that the Chinese knew about Gaussian elimination way before Gauss started to think about his algorithm. See this for instance. – J. M. Oct 20 '11 at 0:51
This is information may be incorrect at times, I think I got it from E.T.Bell's Men of Mathematics and an (french) exercice book. Gauss already used 3 by 3 arrays of numbers to describe maps, and I think his student Eisenstein introduced the notation $\frac{1}{S}$ to denote the inverse of $S$, but that notation was later abandoned. – Olivier Bégassat Oct 20 '11 at 0:54
You can also have a look at this – user13838 Oct 20 '11 at 1:06
up vote 1 down vote accepted

These links: and have some info on this :)

share|cite|improve this answer
Lissa, maybe you could let us know what you find unclear in those references and then we could help. – Gerry Myerson Oct 20 '11 at 2:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.