What does a determinant do exactly (what is it)? And what is the general method of calculating it?
The determinant is mainly used to determine whether or not a square matrix is invertible. There are other applications as well. (ie. Cramer's rule for determining solutions to a system of linear equations)
The method used is generally the cofactor expansion. (note link)
hmm...I see...I've practically forgotten the concept of matrices, but thanks. If possible, do you know of a site that simply goes through the fundamentals of matrices? And (this question is slightly random)....what is a lattice point?
Paul's online linear algebra notes are fairly good. http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/Classes/LinAlg/LinAlg.aspx
Intro To Lattice Points: http://www.math.ucdavis.edu/~latte/latex/intro/intro/
Thanks for the help.
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