"Shutting up like a telescope": Lewis Carroll's "Curious Condensation Method for Evaluating Determinants"
Authors: Rice, Adrian; Torrence, Eve
Source: The College Mathematics Journal, Volume 38, Number 2, March 2007 , pp. 85-95(11)
Publisher: Mathematical Association of America
Abstract:Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) discovered a "curious" method for computing determinants. It is an iterative process that uses determinants of 2 × 2 submatrices of a matrix to obtain a smaller matrix. When the process ends, the result is the determinant of the original matrix. This article discusses both the algorithm and what may have led Dodgson to it.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2007
- The College Mathematics Journal is designed to enhance classroom learning and stimulate thinking regarding undergraduate mathematics. CMJ publishes articles, short Classroom Capsules, problems, solutions, media reviews and other pieces. All are aimed at the college mathematics curriculum with emphasis on topics taught in the first two years.
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- Information for Advertisers
- Terms & Conditions
- MAA Journals at ingentaconnect
- MAA Store
- ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites