In Gilbert Strang's book on linear algebra, he mentions that pivot columns are not combinations of earlier columns and that free columns are combinations of earlier columns. What columns is he referring to by earlier columns?(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Also, what property distinguishes pivot variables and free variables that we choose the values for free variables for special solutions. Why don't we choose the values for the pivot variables and then find the free variables?

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# Free columns-combinations of columns?

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