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Yes. For a computer science student, the answer is obvious. Numbers are often put into a two-dimensional array.

Definition of Matrix

A matrix is a collection of numbers arranged into a fixed number of rows and columns. Usually the numbers are real numbers. In general, matrices can contain complex numbers but we won't see those here. Here is an example of a matrix with three rows and three columns:

Rectangular matrix

The top row is row 1. The leftmost column is column 1. This matrix is a 3x3 matrix because it has three rows and three columns. In describing matrices, the format is:

rows X columns

Each number that makes up a matrix is called an element of the matrix. The elements in a matrix have specific locations.

The upper left corner of the matrix is row 1 column 1. In the above matrix the element at row 1 col 1 is the value 1. The element at row 2 column 3 is the value 4.6.


What is the value of the element at row 3 column 1?