For any topic related to matrices. This includes: systems of linear equations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors (diagonalization, triangularization), determinant, trace, characteristic polynomial, adjugate, transpose, Jordan normal form, matrix algorithms (e.g. LU, Gauss elimination, SVD, QR), ...

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Traces of all positive powers of a matrix are zero implies it is nilpotent

Let $A$ be an $n\times n$ complex nilpotent matrix. Then we know that because all eigenvalues of $A$ must be 0, it follows that $\text{tr}(A^n)=0$ for all positive integers $n$. What I would like to ...
12
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6answers
1k views

A matrix satisfying $AB-BA=B$

If $A$ and $B$ are two matrices of $\mathcal{M}_n(\mathbb{R}$) such that $$AB-BA=B$$ how can we prove that $B$ isn't invertible? my attempt: I found that $\mathrm{tr}(B)=0$ but I know that this is ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Why do the $n \times n$ non-singular matrices form an “open” set?

Why is the set of $n\times n$ real, non-singular matrices an  open subset of the set of all $n\times n$ real matrices? I don't quite understand what "open" means in this context. Thank you.
12
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4answers
1k views

Determinant of a specific circulant matrix, $A_n$

Let $$A_2 = \left[ \begin{array}{cc} 0 & 1\\ 1 & 0 \end{array}\right]$$ $$A_3 = \left[ \begin{array}{ccc} 0 & 1 & 1\\ 1 & 0 & 1 \\ 1 & 1 & 0 \end{array}\right]$$ ...
12
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5answers
332 views

Prove that $A^k = 0 $ iff $A^2 = 0$

Let $A$ be a $ 2 \times 2 $ matrix and a positive integer $k \geq 2$. Prove that $A^k = 0 $ iff $A^2 = 0$. I can make it to do this exercise if I have $ \det (A^k) = (\det A)^k $. But this ...
12
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4answers
4k views

What is the fastest way to find the characteristic polynomial of a matrix?

Finding the characteristic polynomial of a matrix of order $n$ is a tedious and boring task for $n > 2$. I know that: the coefficient of $\lambda^n$ is $(-1)^n$, the coefficient of ...
12
votes
3answers
350 views

Is there a name for matrix product with reversed indices?

The typical matrix product is as follows: $$ (\mathbf{A}\mathbf{B})_{ij} = \sum_{k=1}^m A_{ik}B_{kj}\,. $$ Is there a name or characterization for one such as $$(\mathbf{A}\mathbf{B})_{ij} = ...
12
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3answers
8k views

Can a real symmetric matrix have complex eigenvectors?

A Hermitian matrix always has real eigenvalues and real or complex orthogonal eigenvectors. A real symmetric matrix is a special case of Hermitian matrices, so it too has orthogonal eigenvectors and ...
12
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7answers
5k views

Relation between Cholesky and SVD

When we have a symmetric matrix $A = LL^*$, we can obtain L using Cholesky decomposition of $A$ ($L^*$ is $L$ transposed). Can anyone tell me how we can get this same $L$ using SVD or Eigen ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Why are the eigenvalues of these “bitwise XOR matrices” integers?

In the course of playing around with this question, I have hit upon a question of my own. Consider the $n\times n$ symmetric matrix $\mathbf X$ whose entries are given by ...
12
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3answers
328 views

Eigenvalue test faster than $O\left(n^3\right)$?

Given a real $n\times n$ matrix $A$, one can find the eigenvalues in $O\left(n^3\right)$ by using say, the $QR$ algorithm. Now, what if we guess an eigenvalue $\lambda_0$, and we want to know if it's ...
12
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6answers
4k views

Sylvester rank inequality

If $A$ and $B$ are two matrices of the same order $n$, then $$ \operatorname{rank} A + \operatorname{rank}B \leq \operatorname{rank} AB + n. $$ I don't know how to start proving this ...
12
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2answers
827 views

Why is the identity the only symmetric $0$-$1$ matrix with all eigenvalues positive?

While thinking about this question I managed to convince myself that the identity is the only symmetric $0$-$1$ matrix with all eigenvalues positive. However, the argument is rather low-level. It ...
12
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2answers
9k views

How do I exactly project a vector onto a subspace?

I am trying to understand how - exactly - I go about projecting a vector onto a subspace. Now, I know enough about linear algebra to know about projections, dot products, spans, etc etc, so I am not ...
12
votes
2answers
649 views

How many $n\times m$ binary matrices are there, up to row and column permutations?

I'm interested in the number of binary matrices of a given size that are distinct with regard to row and column permutations. If $\sim$ is the equivalence relation on $n\times m$ binary matrices such ...
12
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1answer
237 views

Find eigenvalues of unspecified matrix

Find all possible eigenvalues of a $2\times 2$ matrix $A$ satisfying $$\det(A^2)I-2\det(A)A+A^2=0.$$ Well, if $Av=\lambda v$ then $$\det(A^2)v-2\det(A)\lambda v+\lambda^2 ...
12
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1answer
4k views

Is it faster to multiply a matrix by its transpose than ordinary matrix multiplication?

I'm writing a program that multiples a matrix by its transpose, and was trying to find efficiency hacks I could exploit considering that the two matrices being multiplied are related. Any ideas?
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3answers
3k views

Are one-by-one matrices equivalent to scalars?

I am a programmer, so to me [x] != x—a scalar in some sort of container is not equal to the scalar. However, I just read in a math book that for 1 x 1 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Probability that a random binary matrix is invertible?

What is the probability that a random $\{0,1\}$, $n \times n$ matrix is invertible? Assume the 0 and 1 are each present in an entry with probability $\frac{1}{2}$. Is there an explicit formula as a ...
12
votes
2answers
630 views

Properties of 4 by 4 Matrices

Define $ A=\begin{pmatrix} x_1 & x_2 & 0 & 0\\ 0 &1&0&0\\ 0&0&1&0\\ 0&0&0&1 \end{pmatrix}, B=\begin{pmatrix} 1 & 0 & 0 & 0\\ x_3 ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Direct proof that nilpotent matrix has zero trace

Does anyone know a proof from the first principles that a nilpotent matrix has zero trace. No eigenvalues, no characteristic polynomials, just definition and basic facts about bases and matrices.
12
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2answers
561 views

Product of nilpotent matrices.

Let $A$ and $B$ be $n \times n$ complex matrices and let $[A,B] = AB - BA$. Question: If $A , B$ and $[A,B]$ are all nilpotent matrices, is it necessarily true that $\operatorname{trace}(AB) ...
12
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1answer
116 views

Check membership in a matrix group

I'm looking for a (preferably somewhat efficient) algorithm for this problem: Given a normal subgroup of $SL(m, \mathbb{Z})$ generated by a finite set $\{M_1, M_2, \dotsc, M_n\}$, and some $A \in ...
12
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3answers
269 views

Are matrices best understood as linear maps?

Any linear map between finite-dimensional vector spaces may be represented by a matrix, and conversely. Matrix-matrix multiplication corresponds to map composition, and matrix-vector multiplication ...
12
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1answer
690 views

Detecting symmetric matrices of the form (low-rank + diagonal matrix)

Let $\Sigma$ be a symmetric positive definite matrix of dimensions $n \times n$. Is there a numerically robust way of checking whether it can be decomposed as $\Sigma = \mathcal{D} + v^t.v$ where $v$ ...
12
votes
2answers
525 views

The infinite-dimensional limit of sequence of solutions of linear equations when the number of equations goes to infinity

Suppose we have an infinite-dimensional real vector $y=(y_1,...)$. Suppose we have an infinite-dimensional real matrix $C=(c_{ij})$, $i,j\in\mathbb{N}$. Let $C^k$ be a submatrix of $C$, ...
12
votes
1answer
280 views

Prove that if $f$ is continuous at $0$, it is continuous on $\mathbb{R}$

Long story short, the question I'm stuck on is as follows: Let $f$ be a positive-definite function. Prove that if $f$ is continuous at $0$, then it is continuous everywhere. Here's the long ...
12
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2answers
733 views

A weak converse of $AB=BA\implies e^Ae^B=e^Be^A$ from “Topics in Matrix Analysis” for matrices of algebraic numbers.

It is a well known fact that if $A,B\in M_{n\times n}(\mathbb C)$ and $AB=BA$, then $e^Ae^B=e^Be^A.$ The converse does not hold. Horn and Johnson give the following example in their Topics in Matrix ...
12
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1answer
220 views

Characterization of Volumes of Lattice Cubes

Here is a problem that came up in a conversation with a professor. I do not know if he knew the answer (and told me none of it) and has since passed so I can no longer ask him about it. Let $C$ be a ...
12
votes
1answer
338 views

A sharper bound for $\|\cos(kA)\|_{\infty}$ for symmetric stochastic matrices

Given $A \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times n}$ that is symmetric, stochastic and diagonalizable, and $k \in \mathbb{N}$, I am interested in bounding $\|\cos(kA)\|_{\infty}$ from above. $\| \|_{\infty}$ is ...
12
votes
1answer
278 views

Upper bound for the widest matrix with no two subsets of columns with the same vector sum

Over at PPCG there is an ongoing contest going on to find the largest matrix without a certain property, called property $X$. The description is as follows (copied from the question). A circulant ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Matrix to power $2012$

How to calculate $A^{2012}$? $A = \left[\begin{array}{ccc}3&-1&-2\\2&0&-2\\2&-1&-1\end{array}\right]$ How can one calculate this? It must be tricky or something, cause there ...
11
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5answers
344 views

Matrices with $A^3+B^3=C^3$

Problem: Find infinitely many triples of nonzero $3\times 3$ matrices $(A,B,C)$ over the nonnegative integers with $$A^3+B^3=C^3.$$ My proposed solution is in the answers.
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4answers
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Prove that $A+I$ is invertible if $A$ is nilpotent [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Units and Nilpotents Given $A^{2012}=0$ prove that $A+I$ is invertible and find an expression for $(A+I)^{-1}$ in terms of $A$. ($I$ is the identity matrix).
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3answers
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Rank of skew-symmetric matrix

Is there a succinct proof for the fact that the rank of a non-zero skew-symmetric matrix ($A = -A^T$) is at least 2? I can think of a proof by contradiction: Assume rank is 1. Then you express all ...
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7answers
11k views

practical uses of matrix multiplication

The use of matrix multiplication is usually given with graphics initially (scalings, translations, rotations, etc). Then there are more in-depth examples such as counting the number of walks between ...
11
votes
6answers
376 views

Given a matrix $A$, find $A^n$

Given the matrix $$A = \left[{9\atop20}{-4\atop-9}\right]$$ how do I find $A^7$ or $A^{54}$ or $A^{2008}$ (etc.) ? I know I need the eigenvalues of A, but I'm not sure what to do afterwards. Is the ...
11
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1answer
2k views

Is the matrix $A$ diagonalizable if $A^2=I$

If $A$ is an involutory matrix, i.e. $A^2=I$, then is $A$ diagonalizable?
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4answers
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Solving very large matrices in “pieces”

Say you have a very dense matrix that is 30000x30000 elements. The very dense matrix comes from the radiosity equation, which I discussed here. Say you have Ax = B. You have B, and A is 30000x30000 ...
11
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3answers
2k views

$I_m - AB$ is invertible if and only if $I_n - BA$ is invertible.

The problem is from Algebra by Artin, Chapter 1, Miscellaneous Problems, Exercise 8. I have been trying for a long time now to solve it but I am unsuccessful. Let $A,B$ be $m \times n$ and $n ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What's the meaning of the transpose? [duplicate]

I don't understand the motivation of the transpose (or better yet, I haven't even seen one). It feels like just something pulled out of a hat. Thinking about it makes it seem like a product of being ...
11
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1answer
11k views

Elegant proofs that similar matrices have the same characteristic polynomial?

It's a simple exercise to show that two similar matrices has the same eigenvalues and eigenvectors (my favorite way is noting that they represent the same linear transformation in different bases). ...
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4answers
636 views

What makes elementary row operations “special”?

This is probably a stupid question, but what makes the three magical elementary row operations, as taught in elementary linear algebra courses, special? In other words, in what way are they "natural" ...
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2answers
4k views

Looking for insightful explanation as to why right inverse equals left inverse for square invertible matrices

The simple proof goes: Let B be the left inverse of A, C the right inverse. C = (BA)C = B(AC) = B This proof relies on associativity yet does not give any insight as to why this surprising fact ...
11
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6answers
301 views

Maximizing the sum $\sum\limits_{i=1}^nx_ix_{i+1}$ subject to $\sum\limits_{i=1}^nx_i=0$ and $\sum\limits_{i=1}^nx_i^2=1$

Is there an efficient way of solving the following problem? Given $x_i\in \mathbb R$, and that $\sum\limits_{i=1}^nx_i=0$ and $\sum\limits_{i=1}^nx_i^2=1$. I want to maximize ...
11
votes
4answers
616 views

Finding all matrices $B$ such that $AB=BA$ for a fixed matrix $A$

Let $$ A=\begin{pmatrix} 1 & 0 & 0 \\ 0& 1 & 0 \\ 3 & 1 & 2 \end{pmatrix} $$ Find all matrices $B$ such that $AB=BA$. Attempt at solution: I can show that $A$ is ...
11
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4answers
615 views

Solving a system of non-linear equations

Let $$(\star)\begin{cases} \begin{vmatrix} x&y\\ z&x\\ \end{vmatrix}=1, \\ \begin{vmatrix} y&z\\ x&y\\ \end{vmatrix}=2, \\ \begin{vmatrix} z&x\\ y&z\\ ...
11
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3answers
63 views

Shared eigenvectors between $A$ and $A^k$

$\newcommand\la{\lambda}$ Thanks to the spectral mapping theorem, we know that if $\la_1,\ldots,\la_n$ are the eigenvalues of a $n\times n$ complex matrix $A$, then $\la_1^k,\ldots,\la_n^k$ are the ...
11
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1answer
3k views

sum of squares of dependent gaussian random variables

Ok, so the Chi-Squared distribution with n degrees of freedom is the sum of the squares of n independent gaussian random variables. The trouble is, my gaussian random variables are not independent. ...
11
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3answers
40k views

shortcut for finding a inverse of matrix

I need tricks or shortcuts to find the inverse of $2 \times 2$ and $3 \times 3$ matrices. I have to take a time-based exam, in which I have to find the inverse of square matrices.