Okay, I've had this question lingering on my mind for a LONG time, so I'm finally going to ask. I took a semester of linear algebra WAY back when I was in college; I think it was one of the chem major requirements when I still thought I was going to be a chem major. I aced the class, but there was one key thing I never learned and was never explained to us...just what is the purpose of linear algebra? I mean, it was fun solving all those problems with matrices, but I never had a clue what the purpose was! What are the applications of linear algebra? What sort of things would those numbers in matrices represent in real life (you know, outside of a textbook)?