Teacher2Teacher Q&A #7255

Matrices versus Arrays

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From: Suzanne A. (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Nov 10, 2001 at 08:24:33
Subject: Re: Matrices versus Arrays

Dear Daniel, Another T2T Associate may have more information for you on this topic but as a middle school teacher who loves a challenge, I decided to look around on the Web to see if I could figure this out. At first everything I found used "array" and "matrix" in the same paragraph and it was difficult to see a difference. I started feeling, however, that "array" was a bit more general a term than "matrix" and then I found Computer User High Tech Dictionary: http://www.computeruser.com/resources/dictionary/ I searched for "array" and they define it as: "An ordered arrangement of data elements in one or more dimensions: a list, a table, or a multidimensional arrangement of items. A vector is a one- dimensional array; a matrix is a two-dimensional array. Multidimensional arrays are used to store tables of data, especially in scientific simulation and mathematical processing. Data items in an array are distinguished by subscripts." So, I think my sense was right in that a matrix is an array but not all arrays are matrices. Try looking up "matrix" and you will see that they define it in terms of an array. I also found this definition of a matrix that includes an illustration: http://www.vuse.vanderbilt.edu:8888/es130/lectures/lecture9/matwhat.htm As I said, another Associate may have more to share with you but maybe this information will be helpful. -Suzanne A., for the T2T service

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