Questions about the properties of vector spaces and linear transformations, including linear systems in general.

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28
votes
20answers
6k views

Why linear algebra is fun!(or ?)

Edit: the original poster is Menny, but the question is CW; the first-person pronoun refers to Menny, not to the most recent editor. I'm doing an introductory talk on linear algebra with the ...
96
votes
17answers
13k views

Geometric Interpretation of Trace

This afternoon I was speaking with some graduate students in the department and we came to the following quandry; Is there a geometric interpretation of the trace of a matrix? This question ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Infinite Tensor Products

Let $A$ be a commutative ring and $M_i, i \in I$ be a infinite family of $A$-modules. Define their tensor product $\bigotimes_{i \in I} M_i$ to be a representing object of the functor of multilinear ...
29
votes
6answers
2k views

Is the non-triviality of the algebraic dual of an infinite-dimensional vector space equivalent to the axiom of choice?

If $V$ is given to be a vector space that is not finite-dimensional, it doesn't seem to be possible to exhibit an explicit non-zero linear functional on $V$ without further information about $V$. The ...
7
votes
1answer
424 views

A spectral inequality for positive-definite matrices

Question. Given a positive-definite $n \times n$ matrix $A = (a_{ij})$ with eigenvalues $$ \lambda_1 \leq \cdots \leq \lambda_n , $$ is there a sharp upper bound for the product $\lambda_2 \cdots ...
19
votes
4answers
737 views

Does Anyone Know Anything about the Determinant and/or Inverse of this Matrix?

The matrix I am inquiring about here is the $n \times n$ matrix where the entry $A_{ij}$ is $\frac{1}{(i+j-1)^2}$. The $2 \times 2$ matrix looks like $$ \begin{pmatrix} 1 & 1/4 \\ 1/4 & 1/9 ...
5
votes
0answers
189 views

concentration for eigenvectors

I am interested in bounding from above the ratio between the maximum and minimum entries of a Perron vector. The only results that I found in the literature are from the classic masters (Ostrowski and ...
4
votes
2answers
760 views

Is there a useful generalization of the Schmidt decomposition to the tensoring together of 3 or more vector spaces?

I've rewritten the question in math notation, and I've left the old version in physics bra-ket notation here. Background A simple consequence of the singular value decomposition is that any vector ...
13
votes
1answer
625 views

Sizes of bases of vector spaces without the axiom of choice

Assuming the axiom of choice does not hold we have that there is a vector space without a basis. The situation can be, in some sense, worse. It is consistent that there are vector spaces that have two ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

The height of the Perron-Frobenius eigenvector

Does the height of a real symmetric matrix with non-negative entries control the height of its Perron-Frobenius eigenvector, under some reasonable definition of heights? Just as an example of what ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Reference for partial Hadamard matrices

Definition. An $m\times n$ matrix is said to be a partial Hadamard matrix (let's say PHM) if its entries are chosen from $\lbrace -1, 1 \rbrace$ such that the dot product of each pair of row vectors ...
36
votes
4answers
6k views

Slick proof?: A vector space has the same dimension as its dual if and only if it is finite dimensional

A very important theorem in linear algebra that is rarely taught is: A vector space has the same dimension as its dual if and only if it is finite dimensional. I have seen a total of one proof ...
28
votes
17answers
5k views

Wonderful applications of the Vandermonde determinant

This semester I am assisting my mentor teaching a first-year undergraduate course on linear algebra in Peking University, China. And now we have come to the famous Vandermonde determinant, which has ...
52
votes
3answers
2k views

Does linearization of categories reflect isomorphism?

Given a category $C$ and a commutative ring $R$, denote by $RC$ the $R$-linearization: this is the category enriched over $R$-modules which has the same objects as $C$, but the morphism module between ...
32
votes
4answers
4k views

explicit big linearly independent sets

In the following, I use the word "explicit" in the following sense: No choices of bases (of vector spaces or field extensions), non-principal ultrafilters or alike which exist only by Zorn's Lemma (or ...
22
votes
16answers
18k views

Linear Algebra Texts?

Can anyone suggest a relatively gentle linear algebra text that integrates vector spaces and matrix algebra right from the start? I've found in the past that students react in very negative ways to ...
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Using linear algebra to classify vector bundles over P^1

There is a theorem of Grothendieck stating that a vector bundle of rank $r$ over the projective line $\mathbb{P}^1$ can be decomposed into $r$ line bundles uniquely up to isomorphism. If we let ...
19
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a preferable convention for defining the wedge product?

There are different conventions for defininig the wedge product $\wedge$. In Kobayashi-Nomizu, there is $\alpha\wedge\beta:=Alt(\alpha\otimes\beta)$, in Spivak, we find ...
35
votes
4answers
3k views

Does the fact that this vector space is not isomorphic to its double-dual require choice?

Let $V$ denote the vector space of sequences of real numbers that are eventually 0, and let $W$ denote the vector space of sequences of real numbers. Given $w \in W$ and $v \in V$, we can take their ...
21
votes
8answers
8k views

Fast Matrix Multiplication

Suppose we have two $n$ by $n$ matrices over particular ring. We want to multiply them as fast as possible. According to wikipedia there is an algorithm of Coppersmith and Winograd that can do it in ...
23
votes
8answers
4k views

“A gentleman never chooses a basis.”

Around these parts, the aphorism "A gentleman never chooses a basis," has become popular. Is there a gentlemanly way to prove that the natural map from V to V** is surjective if V is finite ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

Linearity of the inner product using the parallelogram law

A norm on a vector space comes from an inner product if and only if it satisfies the parallelogram law. Given such a norm, one can reconstruct the inner product via the formula: 2<u,v> = |u + ...
20
votes
1answer
744 views

Are the only local minima of $\angle(v, Av)$ the eigenvectors?

Let $A$ be an invertible $n \times n$ complex matrix. For $v \in \mathbb{CP}^{n-1}$, define $$d(v) = \frac{|\langle A \tilde{v}, \tilde{v} \rangle |^2}{ \langle A \tilde{v}, A \tilde{v} \rangle ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Number of unique determinants for an NxN (0,1)-matrix.

I'm interested in bounds for the number of unique determinants of NxN (0,1)-matrices. Obviously some of these matrices will be singular and therefore won't have a determinant. While it might also be ...
23
votes
2answers
949 views

The probability for a symmetric matrix to be positive definite

Let me give a reasonable model for the question in the title. In ${\rm Sym}_n({\mathbb R})$, the positive definite matrices form a convex cone $S_n^+$. The probability I have in mind is the ratio ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a name for the matrix equation A X B + B X A + C X C = D?

I happen to be working on a problem that reduces to solving the following equation: $$\mathbf{A X B} + \mathbf{B X A} + \mathbf{C X C} = \mathbf{D}$$ where A through D are known matrices ( A, B, D ...
22
votes
13answers
2k views

Elementary applications of linear algebra over finite fields

I'm teaching axiomatic linear algebra again this semester. Although the textbooks I'm using do everything over the real or complex numbers, for various reasons I prefer to work over an arbitrary ...
14
votes
2answers
569 views

Eigenvalues of an “oblique diagonal” matrix

I am looking for guidance about the behavior of powers of a particular matrix (call it $A_n$ for $n\ge2$), which has come up in a counting problem about quantum knot mosaics (a good reference for ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

If $V$ is a vector space with a basis. $W\subseteq V$ has to have a basis too?

Suppose $V$ is a vector space, we say that $\mathcal B$ is a basis for $V$ if: Every $v\in V$ can be written as a linear combination of elements of $\mathcal B$; If $\sum\alpha_i b_i = 0$, where ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Rings over which every module is free

We know that modules over skewfields are free. Is the converse true? In other words, is it true that a nontrivial ring over which every module is free is a skewfield? If the ring A is commutative, ...
14
votes
4answers
791 views

Condition for two matrices to share at least one eigenvector?

Suppose that I have two matrices $A$ and $B$, and I want them to share a common eigenvector $x$. For simplicity let's just assume that the eigenvalue associated with $x$ is $1$ for both matrices, so ...
12
votes
1answer
447 views

Symbols of elliptic operators

First let me state the problem, then I'll explain its origin and finally, I'll ask the main question.. Problem S. Fix a positive integer $n$. Find all the pairs $(V, S)$, whith the following ...
8
votes
5answers
685 views

Non-conjugate words with the same trace

Let n>=2, p a large prime, G = SL_n(Z/pZ). If n=2, there are words that, while not conjugate in the free group, do have identical trace in G. For example, tr(g h^2 g^2 h)= tr(g^2 h^2 g h) for all g, ...
26
votes
2answers
790 views

What are the algebras for the double dualization monad?

Let $k$ be a field, and let $\mathbf{Vect}$ denote the category of vector spaces (possibly infinite-dimensional) over $k$. Taking duals gives a functor $(\ )^*\colon \mathbf{Vect}^{\mathrm{op}} \to ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

How to solve this quadratic matrix equation?

I would like to solve for $X$ in the matrix equation $$ XCX + AX = I $$ where all the matrices are $n\times n$, have real components, $X$ is positive semidefinite and $C$ is symmetric. My (possibly ...
7
votes
3answers
935 views

2-norm of the upper triangular “all-ones” matrix

Let $M_n$ be the $n\times n$ matrix $$ (M_n)_{ij}=\begin{cases}1 & i\leq j,\\\\ 0 &i>j.\end{cases} $$ Is there around an explicit expression or at least an asymptotic for $\left\Vert M_n ...
13
votes
1answer
507 views

Free subgroups of GL(2,Z)

Is there a bound $B$ such that every 2-generator subgroup $G = \langle a, b \rangle < {\rm GL}(2,\mathbb{Z})$ whose generators do not satisfy a relation of length $\leq B$ is free? If it exists, ...
11
votes
4answers
496 views

Eigenvectors of a particular transition matrix

I am considering a Markov chain with $n$ states with a particularly nice structure. The transition matrix is as follows: \begin{equation}\mathbf{P}=\begin{pmatrix} 0 & 0& \dots&0 & 0 ...
8
votes
0answers
238 views

Eigenvalues of permutations of a real matrix: how complex can they be?

This is sort of complementary to this thread. I’ll repeat the definitions here: For a matrix $M\in GL(n,\mathbb R)$, consider the $n!$ matrices obtained by permutations of the rows (say) of $M$ and ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Fast trace of inverse of a square matrix

Which would be the most efficient way (in computational time) to compute tr(inv(H)), where H is a (dense) square matrix? In my particular problem I also have a LU decomposition of H already ...
3
votes
2answers
530 views

Iterated calculation of determinants

Given a $4 \times 4$ matrix $S$ over a commutative ring $R$. I want to consider it as a $2\times 2$ matrix over $M_2(R)$. Lets say $S=\left(\begin{array}{cc} A&B \\\ C&D\end{array}\right)$ ...
17
votes
8answers
1k views

Finitely presented sub-groups of GL(n,C)

Here are two questions about finitely generated and finitely presented groups (FP): 1) Is there an example of an FP group that does not admit a homomorphism to $GL(n,C)$ with trivial kernel for any ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Determinant of sum of positive definite matrices

Say $A$ and $B$ are symmetric, positive definite matrices. I've proved that $\det(A+B) \ge \det(A) + \det(B)$ in the case that $A$ and $B$ are two dimensional. Is this true in general for ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Do these matrix rings have non-zero elements that are neither units nor zero divisors?

First, a disclaimer: This is a repost of a question I asked on stackexchange (no answer there). Let $R$ be a commutative ring (with $1$) and $R^{n \times n}$ be the ring of $n \times n$ matrices with ...
8
votes
1answer
767 views

Matrix inversion lemma with pseudoinverses

The utility of the Matrix Inversion Lemma has been well-exploited for several questions on MO. Thus, with some positive hope, I'd like to field a question of my own. Suppose we pick $n$ values ...
7
votes
1answer
469 views

A question on eigenvalues

Let $A_{1}$, $A_{2}$, $A_{3}$, $A_{4}$, $A_{5}$ be linearly independent Hermitian matrices in the the space of $6$ by $6$ Hermitian matrices as a vector space over $\mathbb{R}$. Does there always ...
3
votes
3answers
866 views

The multiplicity of the max eigenvalue in matrix multiplication

Suppose that eigenvalues of two real square matrix $A$ and $B$ are $1 = \lambda^A_1 > \lambda^A_2 \geq \ldots \geq \lambda^A_n > 0 $ and $1 = \lambda^B_1 > \lambda^B_2 \geq \ldots \geq ...
1
vote
2answers
366 views

Hessian of function of covariance matrices

Suppose we have a typical logdet function $\mathcal{L}$ with respect to a covariance matrix $\mathbf{A}$, $$ \mathcal{L}(\mathbf{A}) = \log\vert \mathbf{I} + \mathbf{A}\mathbf{S} \vert - ...
26
votes
2answers
820 views

Continuous functions $f$ with $f(A)$ linearly independent when $A$ is independent

Is there any characterization of continuous functions $f : \Bbb{R}\longrightarrow \Bbb{R}$ such that for any linearly independent set $A$ (over the rationals) $f(A)$ is also linearly independent ?
9
votes
2answers
563 views

Probability of random (0,1) Toeplitz matrix being invertible

A Toeplitz matrix or diagonal-constant matrix is a matrix in which each descending diagonal from left to right is constant. What is the probability that a random $n \times n$ binary Toeplitz ...