Symmetric Matrices and Positive Definiteness

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Session Overview

Figure excerpted from 'Introduction to Linear Algebra' by G.S. Strang

Special matrices have special eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Symmetric and positive definite matrices have extremely nice properties, and studying these matrices brings together everything we've learned about pivots, determinants and eigenvalues. In this session we also practice doing linear algebra with complex numbers and learn how the pivots give information about the eigenvalues of a symmetric matrix.

Session Activities

Lecture Video and Summary

Suggested Reading

  • Read Section 6.4 through 6.5 in the 4th or 5th edition.

Problem Solving Video

Check Yourself

Problems and Solutions

Work the problems on your own and check your answers when you're done.


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