Date: 10/22/96 at 20:51:13 From: Brett Farley Subject: Linear systems I need to solve this system of equations for x and y in terms of a, b, c, d, e, and f: ax + by = e cx + dy = f I've come up with: (x,y) = de - bf ce - af _______ , _______ da - bc ab - ad
Date: 10/23/96 at 13:22:35 From: Doctor Ken Subject: Re: Linear systems Hi Brett- Your answer isn't quite right, but it's close. The correct answer should have been / d e - b f f a - c e \ (x, y) = | ---------, --------- | \ d a - b c d a - b c / x was right, and the numerator for y was right. So you should try to figure out where y got messed up in your equations, and then you'll be all set. If you go on and study more math, you'll learn some methods that make this problem much easier. Those methods, studied in a class called "Linear Algebra," have to do with matrices, which are just tables of numbers. If you're interested in knowing about these, read on! A matrix is just a bunch of rows and colums. In your case, we could write the problem as / a b \/ x \ / e \ | || | = | | \ c d /\ y / \ f / That's a 2 by 2 matrix times a 2 by 1 matrix, and on the right is a 2 by 1 matrix. Anyway, solving that problem for x and y isn't bad if you know the techniques. But if you don't use matrices and just try to use regular high-school algebra techniques, you're likely to take longer and make more mistakes. -Doctor Ken, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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