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Lectures on Matrices
J. H. M. Wedderburn

Colloquium Publications
1934; 205 pp; softcover
Volume: 17
ISBN-10: 0-8218-4610-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8218-4610-0
List Price: US$50
Member Price: US$40
Order Code: COLL/17
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It is the organization and presentation of the material, however, which make the peculiar appeal of the book. This is no mere compendium of results--the subject has been completely reworked and the proofs recast with the skill and elegance which come only from years of devotion.

--Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society

The very clear and simple presentation gives the reader easy access to the more difficult parts of the theory.

--Jahrbuch über die Fortschritte der Mathematik

In 1937, the theory of matrices was seventy-five years old. However, many results had only recently evolved from special cases to true general theorems. With the publication of his Colloquium Lectures, Wedderburn provided one of the first great syntheses of the subject. Much of the material in the early chapters is now familiar from textbooks on linear algebra. Wedderburn discusses topics such as vectors, bases, adjoints, eigenvalues and the characteristic polynomials, up to and including the properties of Hermitian and orthogonal matrices. Later chapters bring in special results on commuting families of matrices, functions of matrices--including elements of the differential and integral calculus sometimes known as matrix analysis, and transformations of bilinear forms. The final chapter treats associative algebras, culminating with the well-known Wedderburn-Artin theorem that simple algebras are necessarily isomorphic to matrix algebras.

Wedderburn ends with an appendix of historical notes on the development of the theory of matrices, and a bibliography that emphasizes the history of the subject.


Graduate students and research mathematicians interested in matrices.

Table of Contents

  • Matrices and vectors
  • Algebraic operations with matrices. The characteristic equation
  • Invariant factors and elementary divisors
  • Vector polynomials. Singular matric polynomials
  • Compound matrices
  • Symmetric, skew, and hermitian matrices
  • Commutative matrices
  • Functions of matrices
  • The automorphic transformation of a bilinear form
  • Linear associative algebras
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index to bibliography
  • Index
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