The only direct use is to compute matrix inverses. With careful guidance, students could use this ability to explore the inverses of certain types of matrices, and make and confirm conjectures.
It requires a "Java-enabled" browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
This applet does not have an immediate learning goal of its own. Rather, it would serve as a tool to alleviate the tedium of large matrix inversion that might occur in a variety of classes. See "Uses" below.
Target Student Population:
Linear Algebra students, or anyone who needs the inverse of a matrix.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic knowledge of matrices including the definition of the inverse of a matrix
The applet is straight-forward and intuitive: the user types entries into the matrix to be inverted, then clicks on an ?invert? button. The inverse matrix then appears beside the original, with entries computed to 4-digit precision. The applet also computes the determinant of a matrix that is being inverted. The reviewers found no errors in the results.
While simplicity can be a virtue, in this case it results in an unfortunate limitation of the applet?s usefulness. There is no provision for the user to adjust the size of the matrix, so that large matrices cannot be handled at all and matrices smaller than 6-by-6 can be handled only by the trick of setting off-diagonal elements equal to 0. Since each element must be typed in individually, this can take some time. The 4-digit precision in the result may be enough for exploration in a guided classroom activity, but is probably not enough for serious numerical work.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The applet efficiently carries out a computation which would be hard to do by hand. As mentioned above, it could lend itself to experimentation and conjecture on the existence and behavior of matrix inverses.
The applet can be used as an aid to a lecture or as a quick in-class demonstration.
Classroom activities will be slowed down by the time needed to enter the original matrix term-by-term. (This is probably unavoidable in matrix computations, though.) The applet is probably too limited for more serious work.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The applet has only one button found and is very easy to use. The average user can begin using the applet immediately.
Search by ISBN?
It looks like you have entered an ISBN number. Would you like to search using what you have
entered as an ISBN number?
Searching for Members?
You entered an email address. Would you like to search for members? Click Yes to continue. If no, materials will be displayed first. You can refine your search with the options on the left of the results page.