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"Shutting up like a telescope": Lewis Carroll's "Curious Condensation Method for Evaluating Determinants"

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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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2007

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