Basic Vector/Matrix Structure and Notation
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Vectors and matrices are useful in representing multivariate numeric data, and they occur naturally in working with linear equations or when expressing linear relationships among objects. Numerical algorithms for a variety of tasks involve matrix and vector arithmetic. An optimization algorithm to find the minimum of a function, for example, may use a vector of first derivatives and a matrix of second derivatives; and a method to solve a differential equation may use a matrix with a few diagonals for computing differences.