The rst problem with determinants is to decide on a denition. Most texts use complicated
algebraic calculations to dene them and to explain their main properties. The following geometric
approach, developed by John Hannah and Bill Baritompa here at Cant
Linear equations and matrices
One of the most important problems in mathematics is that of solving a system of linear equations.
Such linear systems arise in applications in areas as diverse as business, economics, sociology, ecology, demography, gene
(A.C. 10th Appendix E and F)
Much of calculus is based on properties of the real numbers. The real numbers can be represented
geometrically as points on a number line, called the real line. The real numbers (or equivalently,
There were four major problems confronting mathematicians in the 17th century:
of a moving body.
All solved by
Finding the slope of the line that is