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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.

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    $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – J. M. is a poor mathematician Oct 20 '11 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – Olivier Bégassat Oct 20 '11 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ You can also have a look at this $\endgroup$ – user13838 Oct 20 '11 at 1:06
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These links: http://ualr.edu/lasmoller/matrices.html and http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~vitulli/441.sp04/LinAlgHistory.html have some info on this :)

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  • $\begingroup$ Lissa, maybe you could let us know what you find unclear in those references and then we could help. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Oct 20 '11 at 2:00

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