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Counting multiplication and division only, in solving linear equations (matrix operation),

Elimination of first row: total n^2 operations

So, forward elimination operations for the matrix is Σ(2 to n) k^2 = n*(n+1)*(2n+1)/6

I have tried to solve the equations but it seem do not need n^2 steps.

Can anyone tell me conceptually why it needs n^2 operations to eliminate the first row?

Thanks.