Week 5


The next two weeks are devoted to solving systems of linear equations. Linear equations come up all the time in real life. Solving them is not hard in principle, but tedious. Computers were invented mainly to solve linear equations.

We will look at a total of six different ways to solve systems of linear equations:

The graphical method only works for systems of two variables. We will restrict ourselves to two variables for the other hand-calculation methods as well. If you can do it for two equations, you can do it for three or four, it just takes longer.

This week, we will cover sections 4-1 and 4-2, which include the first four of the methods mentioned above. Specifically, we will look at

We will skip section 4-3. If you scan this section, it appears that they are covering yet another method called Gauss-Jordan Elimination. This method is the same as the Augmented Matrix method. So why do they give it a new name? Ask the authors. Mainly, they are doing bigger problems in this section, and explaining the degenerate cases in more detail (no solution or infinitely many solutions).


Read the textbook and do the homework assignment HW 4.

Note: a couple of the problems say "solve by Gauss-Jordan Elimination". Just ignore that, and solve the equations by whatever method you prefer.

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 5, 2015